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; Printed by 





State of affairs and of Public Opinion at the commencement of the year 
— Opening of Parliament by the Queen in person — Her Majesty's 
Speech — Debate in the House of Lords on the Address — Speeches of 
Earl Ducie and Lord Lurgan, the mover and seconder — Attack on the 
Foreign Policy of the Government by Lord Brougham— Speeches of 
Lord Melbourne and of the Duke of Wellington ; emphatic Language 
of the latter with respect to France — ^Address agreed to— Debate in the 
House of Commons — Address moved by Lord Brabazon, seconded by 
Mr. Grantley Berkeley — Discussion on Foreign Policy of the Govern- 
ment — Speech of Mr. Grote in opposition to it — His concluding Re- 
marks on the Domestic Policy of the Ministers— Defence of Foreign 
Policy by Lord John Russell— His Answer to Mr. Grote on the Princi- 
ples of the Ministry — Speeches of Mr. Hume, Mr. Milnes, Sir Robert 
Peel, and Lord Palmerston — Address agreed to without division— Re- 
marks on the Queen's Speech, and the Debate, and reflections on the 
Foreign Policy of the Government — Discussion on bringing up the 
Report on the Address — Sir R. H. Inglis's remarks on Repeal Agita- 
tion in Ireland — Lord J. Russell's Answer —Votes of Thanks carried in 
both Houses to the Officers engaged in the Syrian Expedition — Re- 
marks of the Duke of Wellington on the Bombardment of Acre — Letter 
of Sir Robert Stopford in acknowledgment of the Vote . [1 


Poor-Law Amendment Act— Expiration of the power of the Commis- 
sioners — State of Public Opinion and division of Parties with respect 
to the Law— Efforts of the rress— Lord John Russell moves for leave to 
bring in a Bill — Vehement Opposition of Mr. Wakley and other Mem- 
bers—Speeches of Sir F. Burdett and Lord John Russell — Debate on 
second Reading— Speeches of Mr. D'Israeli, Mr. Waklev, Mr. Gaily 
Knight, Sir Robert Peel, Viscount Howick, and Lord John Russell— 
Division on the second Reading — Motion of Mr. Townley Parker, that 
the Bill should be committed that day six months, rejected by a large 
majority — Strictures of Sir Robert Peel on the language used by the 
Commissioners in their public Documents— Observations of Lord G. 
Somerset^ and Viscount Sandon to a similar effect— Renewal of power 
of Commissioners for five years carried — Discussion upon Union Schools 
and compulsory Education — Speech of Sir Robert Peel thereupon— Mr. 
Colquhoun's motion for the appointment of Chaplains to Unions— Re- 
marks —Ultimate fate of the Bill at the dissolution of Parliament- 
Return of Mr. Waller for Nottingham— Progress and \vorking of the 
Poor-Law in Ireland— Inquiry in the House of Lords respecting Clou- 
mcl Union*— Resolution of the House respecting the Secretary to the 
Poor-Law Commissioners in Ireland . . . r23 



Affairs of Ireland. Registration of Voters — Lord Stanley revives his mea- 
sure of 1840 for Reform of Registration — Motion for leave to bring in 
the Bill— Speeches of Lord Stanley and Lord Morpeth — Mr. O'Connell 
moves adjournment — It is negatived by 26 1 to 71 — Lord Morpeth intro- 
duces a Bill on the same subject — Its leading provisions —Definition 
and extension of the elective Franchise proposed by it — Feeling of 
different parties in the House on the occasion — Speech of Lord Howick 
— Debate on second reading of Lord Morpeth's Bill — Severe denunci- 
ation of the ministerial tactics by Lord Stanley — Mr. C, Wood supports 
the Bill — Debate continued for four successive nights — Speeches of Sir 
W. Follett and Mr, C. Buller — Allusion of the latter to our Foreign 
Relations — View'of the Bill taken by Mr. Slaney — ^Exposition by Sir J. 
Graham of the progress of ministerial concessions to the Repeal party 
— Speeches of Mr. O'Connell, Sir R. Peel, and Lord J. Kussell — 
Second Reading carried by a majority of 5 — Postponement of Com- 
mittee on the Bill — Severe remarks thereon by Lord Stanley — Language 
of Mr. O'Connell, and of the Irish Press, on the Registration question 
— Lord Stanley's Bill postponed — Alteration in the ministerial Bill 
announced by Lord Morpeth — House goes into Committee — Lord 
Howick moves an amendment on the first clause — It is opposed by- 
Lord Morpeth — Speeches of Mr. C. Wood, Lord Stanley, Mr. O'Con- 
nell, Lord John Russell, and Sir R. Peel — ^Amendment carried by 291 
to 270 — Adjournment of the House — Statement of Lord John Russell 
on 28th April — He acquiesces in Lord Howick's Amendment — State- 
ment of Lord Howick — Debate thereupon — Altercation of Mr. Ward 
and Mr. Hume — Various divisions on amendments and other motions — 
Curious confusion of the debate, terminating in a majority against the 
Government of 11 — Lord John Russell throws up the Bill — Remarks of 
Sir R. Peel — Reflections on the effect of the preceding transactions upon 
the character and prospects of the Government . . [37 


Jews' Civil Disabilities removal Bill — Opposed on second reading by Sir 
R. Inglis— Supported by Lord John Kussell — Carried by majority of 
113. Speech of Mr. Gladstone against the third reading — Answer of 
Mr. Macaulay— Bill passed by 108 to 31. In the House of Lords it is 
opposed by the Bishops of London and Llandaff, and other Peers ; sup- 
ported by the Bishop of St. David's, Marquess of Bute, and Earl of 
Wicklow — It is rejected by a majority of 34. Church of Scotland — 
Non-intrusion question— Subject introduced in the House of Lords by 
Lord Dalhousie —Speech of Lord Aberdeen— The Duke of Argyll takes 
up the question — Object of the Bill introduced by him — His Speech, and 
Debate on first reading — Meeting of the General Assembly of the Scotch 
Church — Dr. Chalmers moves the deposition of the seven Ministers of 
the Strathbogie Presbytery — Account of their case — Dr. Cooke opposes 
him — Ft is carried by a large majority — ^The deposed Ministers petition 
the House of Lords — Lord Aberdeen presents Petition — Speech of Lord 
Melbourne, who declines to interfere— Expostulation of Lord Brougham 
with the Government on their conduct — Public Meetings in Scotland to 
express sympathy with the deposed Ministers— Proceedings of the Non- 
intrusion party — Speech of a Delegate at Belfast. Seminary of St. Sul- 
pice, in Lower Canada — Ordinance of Lord Sydenham inculpated in 
House of Lords by Bishop of Exeter— He accuses the Government of 


favouring the Church of Rome— Speech of Lord Melbourne— The Duke 
of Wellington objects to the Ordinance— The Bishop of Exeter moves 
an Address to the Crown— He is answered by Lords Normanl)y and 
Ripon— The Duke of Wellington retracts his objection to the Ordinance 
— ^The Motion withdrawn. College of Maynooth — Mr. Colquhoun moves 
for leave to bring in a Bill to repeal the Laws connecting it with the 
State — He animadverts on the Doctrines taught at the College, and 
their effect on the character of the Priesthood — Speeches of Lord Mor- 
peth and Sir R. Inglis— Mr. O'Connell vindicates the College and his 
Church — Bill read a first time, but not proceeded with. Church-rates 
— Mr. Easthope brings before the House the case of Mr. Baines— His 
Resolution negatived by a majority of 5— He introduces a Bill to abo- 
lish Church-rates — It is read a first time, but goes no further. Public 
Education — Motion of Mr. Ewart for appointment of Minister of Edu- 
tion — It is opposed by the Government, and withdrawn — Sir Robert 
Peel vindicates his own efforts to promote Scientific Instruction. Law 
Reform— Punishment of Death— Bills of Mr. F. Kelly and Lord John 
Russell — Mr. Kelly's Bill mutilated in Committee— He abandons the 
measure — ^The Government carry their Bill — Effect of the new Act. 
Chancery Reform — Bills of Attorney-General and of Sir E. Sugden — 
Appointment of two Judges in Equity opposed by the latter — Bill passes 
through Committee, but finally abandoned by the Government. Ser- 
jeant Talfourd's Copyright Bill rejected . . [64 


Finance — Mr. Baring's Financial Statement — Development of his Plans 
for the Year— Speeches of Mr. Goulburn, and of Mr. Hume and other 
Liberal Members — Remarks of Mr. Christopher and Viscount Sandon 
on the threatened change in the Corn-laws — Lord John Russell an- 
nounces his intention to propose a moderate fixed duty — Speech of Sir 
Robert Peel, of Viscount Howick, and Mr. Labouchere — Preparations 
on both sides for the approaching contest— Proceedings of Associations 
and Public Meetings — Anti-Corn-law Movements— Union of interests 
against the Government measure— Debate in the House of Lords on 
the Corn-laws — ^The Duke of Buckingham quotes a Speech of Viscount 
Melbourne's against him — Viscount Melbourne vindicates his own con- 
sistency — Speeches of the Earls Ripon and Winchilsea— Viscount San- 
don gives notice of a resolution with respect to the proposed change 
in the Sugar-duties — Counter-resolution announced by Lord John 
Russell — Notice on the same subject by Mr. 0*Connell— Debate on the 
Sugar-duties — Important petitions presented on both sides — Able in- 
troductory Speech of Lord John Russell.— Viscount Sandon moves 
his Resolution — Debate lasts from 7th May to 18th.— Mr. Hand ley 
and other leading agricultural Members declare against the Minis- 
terial plans— Dr. Lushington opposes the Budget on anti-slavery 
grounds— Mr. Grote's answer to this argument — Summary of the 
Speeches of Lord Stanley, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Robert 
Peel, and Viscount Palmerston — Viscount Sandon's Resolution is 
carried by a majority of 36 — Public excitement consequent on defeat of 
Ministers— The Chancellor of the Exchequer gives notice of moving 
*' the usual Sugar-duties." Severe Remarks of the Earl of Darlington 
on the tenacity of the Government-— Preparations for a General Election 
— Sir Robert Feel gives notice of a Resolution affirming want of Con- 
fidence in the Government— Lord John Russell throws up the Poor-law 


Act Amendment Bill—Tlie Chancellor of the Exchequer moTes the 
usual Annual Sugar Duties— He is seconded by Sir Robert Peel — 
Speeches of Sir de Lacy Evans, Mr. Wakley, and Lord John Russell — 
— DiMcussions on the Corn-laws in the House of Lords— Progress of 
Agitation, and state of public Opinion . • [90 


Debate on Sir R. Peel's Resolution of Want of Confidence in the Go- 
vernment—His Speech in introducing it — Citation of historical Prece- 
dents—Distinction drawn between the present case and that of Mr. Pitt, 
in 1784— Speeches of Mr. Christopher, Sir James Graham, Sir William 
FoUett, Mr. Seijeant Jackson, and Lord Stanley, in support of the Re- 
solution — Speeches of Lord Worsley, Sir J. Hobhouse, Mr. Macaulay, 
Dr. Lushington, Mr. Handley, Mr. O'Connell, Viscount Morpeth, and 
Lord John Russell, in defence of the Government— Division and Ma- 
jority of one in favour of the Motion — Lord John Russell states the 
course determined on by the Ministers — He declares their intention to 
dissolve Parliament at once, without a discussion on the Com Laws — 
His proposal respecting the Estimates — Speech of Sir R. Peel — He de- 
manas a pledge that the new Parliament shall be convoked at the earliest 
period — Lord John Russell undertakes to this effect — Speeches of Mr. 
Wakley, Mr. Villiers, Mr. Labouchere, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Mr. Herries, and Mr. Goulburn — ^The Estimates are voted without op- 
position— ;Subsequent proceedings in the House of Commons — Prepa- 
rations for the Elections — A large number of bills in progress aic 
abandoned : some others carried — ^Administrati6n of justice in Chancery 
Bill — Sir E. Sugden proposes to postpone its operation till the 10th of 
October — Object of this Motion — Lord John Russell strongly opposes 
it' It is supported by Sir Robert Peel, and carried by a majority of 18 
— Lord John Russell throws up the Bill— Remarks of Sir D. Evans on 
the conduct of the Opposition — Speech of Lord Stanley — Observations 
of Sir R. Peel on the transactiou'—Parliament prorogued by the Queen 
in person, on the 22nd of June — Address of the Speaker to Her Ma- 
jesty—The Queen's Speech — Proclamation issued for the Dissolution of 
Parliament — Review of the Session — General Remarks . [116 


State of parties at the period of the dissolution of Parliament — Reasons 
for the decline and fall of the Whig Administration— The Whigs appeal 
to the country as Anti-Monopolists — Election of Members for the City 
of London— Conduct of the Ministry with regard to their Equity Courts* 
Bill, and the appointment of the Attorney-General Lord Chancellor of Ire- 
land— Elections for Northumberiand and the West Riding of Yorkshire 
—Defeats of Viscount Howick and Viscount Morpeth — Mr. O'Connell 
defeated at Dublin, and Sir De Lacy Evans at Westminster— Abstract 
and Analysis of Election Returns — Assembling of Parliament — ^The 
Royal Speech— Earl Spencer moves the Address m the House of Lords 
—The Marquess ofClanricarde seconds it — TheEarlofRipon moves an 
Amendment of want of confidence in the Government — Speeches of 
Lord Fitzwilliam, Lord Lyttleton. and Viscount Melbourne — The Duke 
of Wellington supports the Amendment, and censures the use made of 
the Queen's name m the Roval Speech — Viscount Melbourne explains — 
Speeches of the Duke of Richmond, the Marquess of Landsdowne, and 
the Marquess of Northampton— Lord Brougham declares that he shall 


vote in favour of the Address, but attacks the conduct of Ministers — 
Division on the question of the Address^ and defeat of Ministers f 143 


Meeting of the New House of Commons — ^Election of Speaker — Mr. Shaw 
Lefevre is proposed by Lord Worsley, seconded by Mr. E. BuUer— Sir 
Robert Peel declares his concurrence, and the Motion is carried without 
a division — The Speaker returns thanks — Remarks of Lord John 
Russell, and Reference made by him to the preceding Speaker — Debate 
in the House of Commons on the Queen's Speech— The Address is 
moved by Mr. Mark Phillips, seconded by Mr. John Dundas— Mr. J. 
S. Wortley moves an Amendment, negativing the Confidence of the 
.House in the Government — It is seconded by Lord Bruce — The Debate 
is continued for four nights — Summary of the Arguments of the various 
Speakers on both sides — Important Speeches of Sir Robert Peel and 
I^rd John Russell— Division, and Majority of 91 against the Govern^ 
ment — Mr. S. Crawford moves another Amendment— It leads to a Di- 
vision of the Liberal Members : it is rejected by a large Majority — 
Answer of her Majesty to the Address, as amended — ^The Ministry de- 
termine to resign Office — ^Their retirement is announced by Viscount 
Melbourne in the House of Peers, and by Lord John Russell in the 
House of Commons — The latter vindicates the course pursued by the 
Government — He deprecates personal Animosity between Opponents — 
Speech of Lord Stanley — ^He disclaims feelings of Enmity towards Lord 
John Russell— His remarks on the Language of the Royal Speech — 
Lord John Russell explains— Motions for New Writs on acceptance of 
Office by the New Ministers — ^The House adjourns for the Elections 
Complete List of Sir Robert Peel's Administration . [170 


Re-election of Members of the Government — The House of Commons 
meets again on the 16th September — Statement of Sir Robert Peel as 
to his intended course of proceeding — He announces the postponement 
of his financial measures till the next Session — Speech of Lord John 
Russell — He objects to the delay — He states at length his view of the 
state of public affairs — He is answered by Sir Robert Peel — Speech of 
Viscount Palmerston — He deprecates the postponement of remedial 
measures. — Speeches of Mr. Villiers, Mr. Ward, Mr. Cobden, Viscount 
Sandon, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Litton, and other Members — Mr. Flelden 
moves that no Supplies be granted until after an enquiry into the dis- 
tress of the country — His Motion is negatved by a large majority. Mr. 
Greene is appointed Chairman of Ways and Means. — Renewed discus- 
sions on the state of the country. — Speech of Mr. Otway Cave — Sir 
Robert Peel states that he shall not re-introduce Lord Stanley's Irish 
Registration Bill — Statements of Manufacturing distress made by several 
Members — Sir Robert Peel's answer— He declines to afford the explana- 
tions of his future measures demanded by the Opposition — ^The Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer makes his Financial statement — Observations 
thereon of Mr. F. Baring— Speeches of Mr. Hawes, Mr. Ewart, Sir 
Robert Peel, Lord Palmerston, Mr. C. Wood, and other Members — 
The resolutions moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer are carried 
— Debates in the House of Lords — Lord Melbourne impugns the Minis- 
terial Plan of Finance— Speeches of Lord Ripon and the Duke of Wel- 
lington — Lord Radnor's Remarks on the Duke's speech— Explanations 


— Speeches of Lord Kinnaird and the Duke of Richmond. — Propfress of 
business in the House of Commons — Bill for creating additional Judges 
in Equity passed — Poor-laws — Sir Robert Peel brings in a bill to con- 
tinue the Commission for six months — Mr. Yorke moves an instruction 
to the Committee — Speeches of Sir J. Graham, Mr. Stuart Wortley, 
Mr. V. Smith, Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Pakington and others — Mr. Yorke's 
motion is rejected by a large majority— Mr. S. Crawford moves two 
amendments, which are negatived after some discussion — Mr. B. Fer- 
rand makes charges against the manufacturers — ^They are defended by 
Mr. Mark Phillips—Speech of Sir J. Graham— Motion of Mr. Fielden 
to reject the bill negatived by 183 to 18 — Prorogation of Parliament — 
Speech of the Lords Commissioners — End of the second Session of 
1841 . . . . . [201 


FiiANCE. — State of Public Opinion in France, and situation of Parties — 
Addresses presented to the King on the Jour de FAn — Gratifying recep- 
tion of the Clergy — Reply of th§ King — Financial Statement of M. 

' Humann in the Chamber of Deputies — Account given by him of the 
different branches of the Public Revenues and their probable produce — 
Official Statement of the Assets and Liabilities of the Bank of France — 
Conviction and Imprisonment of the Abb6 de Lammenais for publish, 
ing a Seditious Pamphlet— War-party advocate an alliance with Russia 
— Conduct of France towards Spain— -Speech of M. Guizot in the Cham- 
ber of Peers on the Subject — Note addressed by M. Guizot to M. 
Ferrer — Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, in Answer to the Mani-. 
festo of Queen Christina — Question of the Fortifications round Paris — 
Appointment of a Committee to Report on the Subject — Report draw^n 
up by M. Thiers — Discussion thereupon in the Chamber of Deputies — 
Speeches of MM. Carnot, Thiers, Marshal Soult, M. Guizot, and 
others — Amendment proposed by General Schneider for erecting Works 
on a less extensive scale opposed by M. Guizot, and negatived — Bill for 
fortifying Paris passed — Bill introduced by the Minister of Finance (M. 
Humann) demanding Credits — Speech of M. Humann — Forged Letters 
imputed to Louis Philippe — Prosecution of French Journals for pub- 
lishing them — Execution of Darmes the Regicide — Discontent through- 
out France, and serious Disturbances in the Provinces on account of 
the pressure of Taxation — Riots at Toulouse, Lyons, and other places 
— Disturbances in Paris — Attempt to Assassinate the Duke d'Aumale 
on his return from Africa— Seizure of Qu^nisset the Assassin— Account 
of the ** Communis tes *' — Trial and Condemnation of Qu^nisset and 
his Accomplices— Trial and Conviction of M. Dupoty, Editor of the 
Journal du Peuple — Government Prosecution of the Press in France — 
Treaty for the Suppression of the Slave Trade signed in London be- 
tween France and the other great Powers of Europe — Account of the 
State of External Commerce of France, published by the Administra- 
tion of Customs ..... [230 


Spain. — Quarrel between Spain and Portugal relative to the Navigation 
of the Douro — Convention made in 1835 for the free Navigation of that 
River — Preparations for War in the two Countries — Settlement of the 
Question^Expulsion of the Papal Nuncio from Spain — Sitting of the 


Cortes — Espartero proclaimed sole Regent of Spain— New Cabinet 
formed by nim — Speech of the President of the Council, and Policy of 
* the Government — Question of the Guardianship of the Queen — Senor 
Arffuelles appointed Guardian — Manifesto of the QueenrMother, and 
reply of the Spanish Government — Insurrection in behalf of the Queen- 
Motner at Pampeluna and Vittoria — Proclamation issued by Don 
Manuel Montes de Oca — Desperate attempt to seize the person of the 
Queen at night in the Palace at Madrid — Trial and Execution of Don 
Diego Leon — Energetic Measures of Espartero — Suppression of the In- 
surrection — Question of participation of the Queen-Mother in the af- 
fair — Correspondence in Paris between her and Senor Olozaga on the 
subject — Suspension of the payment of her Pension by Espartero — Sup- 
pression of the Fueros. — Portugal. — Change of Ministry, and List of 
the New Appointments .... [258 



Affghanistan.— Final overthrow of Dost Mahomed by General Sir Ro- 
bert Sale, at Purwan — Dost Mahomed takes refuge in the British camp, 
aud surrenders to Sir William M*Naghten — He • is sent to Calcutta, 
and ultimately permitted to reside at Loodianah — Capture of a Ghilzie 
fgrt by Major Lynch, and destruction of its garrison — Rout of the 
Ghilzies by Colonel Wymer.— Scindb. — Our troops re-occupy Khelat — 
Defeat of Nusseer Khan by Major Boscawen — Melancholy fate of Lieu- 
tenant Loveday — The Brahoes under Nusseer Khan are again defeated 
at Peer Chutta — Nusseer Khan surrenders himself to the British. — 
Punjab. — Death of Maharajah Kurruck Sing — His son and successor 
Non Nehal Sing accidentally killed — Shere Sing seizes the throne — 
Abdicates suddenly — but afterwards gains possession of Lahore, and 
re-ascends the Throne — Disorganised state of the Punjab. — China.— 
Mortality amongst the British troops at Chusan — Letter from Lord 
Palmerston forwarded to Ningpo — Admiral Elliot sails northwards to 
the Pe-chee-lee gulf — Negotiations in the Peho river — Admiral Elliot 
returns to Chusan — Keshen appointed by the Emperor Chief Commis- 
sioner at Canton, in the place of Lin — Captain Elliot opens negotiations 
with Keshen at Canton — Tedious delays — Commodore Sir G. Bremer 
reduces the Bogue forts — ^Terms agreed upon between Captain Elliot 
and the Chinese authorities — Despatch of Keshen — ^The British Go- 
vernment disapprove of the terms of the Convention — Captain Elliot is 
recalled, and Sir H. Pottinger appointed in his stead — Bad faith of the 
Chinese — The British squadron attacks the forts — Sir G. Bremer and 
Major-General Gough prepare to assault Canton — Keshen degraded- 
British flag of truce fired upon by the Chinese — The factory at Canton 
taken possession of by the British — Imperial Edicts — Canton at the 
mercy of the British — Convention entered into by Captain Elliot — Death 
of Sir Le Fleming Senhouse— Arrival of Sir H. Pottmger in the Canton 
waters — Proclamation issued by him—Expedition sails to the North- 
ward — Captain Elliot leaves China. — ^Turkey, Syria, and Egypt. — 
Conditions offered by Admiral Stopford to the Pacha of Egypt— They 
are accepted by the latter — His comq^unication to the Grand Vizier — 
The Pacha delivers up the Turkish fleet — Further negotiations mth 
the Porte — Final settlement of the dispute — Changes in the Ministry at 
Constantinople— Letter on the state of Syria. . . [271 



United Statss akd Canada. .—Message of President (Mr. Van Buren) 
to Congress— Discussion in the Senate relative to the state of afl^irs 
between Great Britain and America — General Harrison inducted into 
the Presidency — Inaugural Address — Sudden death of General Harri- 
son — Mr. Tyler (Vice-President) becomes President — He issues an Ad- 
dress — Meeting of Congress at Washington — Election of Speaker — 
Message of President — Affair of the Steam-boat Caroline — Seizure, in 
the American territory, of M'Leod, a British subject— Correspondence 
between Mr. Fox and Mr. Forsyth on the subject — Discussion in the 
House of Representatives — Proceedings in the case of M'Leod — Out- 
rageous acts of the mob at Lockport — AVarlike tone of Report presented 
to the House of Representatives on the subject of the seizure or M*Leod 
— It denounces the ambitious and aggressive Policy of Great Britain — 
Discussion thereupon — Question of Fortifying the Frontiers of the 
Union — Official note sent by Mr. Fox to Mr. Webster (the American 
Foreign Secretary) — Question of jurisdiction in the case of M*Leod — 
Judgment of Supreme Court on the subject — Trial of M'Leod at Utica 
— His acquittal— Seizure in Canada of an American citizen — He is set 
at liberty — Bill introduced into Congress for the establishment of a 
National Bank — ^The President exercises his right of veto — Resignation 
of the Ministry in consequence — Formation of a new Cabinet— Secret 
Societies called ** Hunter's Lodges," along the Northern frontier — 
Proclamation issued by the President against them — General Scott a 
candidate for the office of President ^Question of right of search. — 
Canada. — Union of the two Provinces carried into effect — Proclama- 
tion by the Grovemor, Lord Sydenham — General Election — Speech of 
the Governor at the opening of the Session — Address carried-— Painful 
illness and death of Lord Sydenham . . . [290 


In p. 228, of our last Volume (that for 1840),/or *' arrived within the Peshawer'a 
tnritory," rtad " arrivad within the Paabawur territory." 




Etkivts . 


The Ministry (Lord Mel- 
bourne's) - - - - 128 
The Ministry (Sir R. Peers) - 130 
General Election — List of Mem- 
bers returned, the unsuccess- 
ful Candidates, and state of 
the Polls - - - .132 
Sheriffs - - - - 141 
Births - . - - 143 
Marriagfes - - - - 147 
Promotions - - - - 155 
Deaths 165 


Trial of James Thomas Earl of 
Cardigan, in the House of 
Lords, on the 16th day of 
February, 1841, for Felony - 242 

Trial of Captain Douglas for 
Felony - - - - 278 

Trial of Alexander M'Leod for 
Murder, at Utica, U, S. - 280 

Privy Council — Wood v. Good- 
laKe, Helps and others - 292 

Privy Council — Reeve v, Kent 302 

Court of Chancery — Rules, Or- 
ders and Regulations, made 
by the Lord Chancellor, Aug. 
26, 1841 - - - - 304 

Court of Chancery — Distringas 
on Stock — Order of the 
Court, Nov. 17, 1841 - - 311 

Lord Chancellor's Court — ^At- 
torney-General V, Fishmon- 
ger's Company, 313; — Attor- 
ney-General V, Ironmonger's 
Company - - - - 314 

Rolls' Court — Robinson v. 
Grant 315 ;— Hale v. Hale 
316 ;^Attorney*General v. 

Dulwich College 319;— At- 
tomey-General v. Prettyman 
and others - - - - 321 

Central Criminal Court — ^Trial 
of Michael Shaw Stewart 
Wallace, and Patrick Max- 
well Stewart Wallace, for 
casting away the Dryad - 322 

Trial of Robert Blakesley for 
Murder ". - - - 337 

Assizes — Oxford : Trial of Jo- 
siah Misters for attempt at 
Murder - . - . 342 

Surrey— Bogle v, Lawson - 352 


I. — Domestic. 

Financial Statements ending 
5th January, 1842 - - 374 

Trade 390 

Navigation - - - - 392 
List of the General Acts - 393 

Local and Personal Acts - 396 

Private Acts (printed) - - 400 
Private Acts (not printed) - 403 
Prices of Stock - - ~ 404 
Prices of Com, Hay, Clover, 

Straw, and Butchers' Meat - 405 
Bills of Mortality — Bankrupts 

—Meteorological Table - - 406 
Quarterly Average of the Weekly 
Liabilities and Assets of the 
Bank of England — Aggregate 
Amount of Notes circulated 
by Private Joint Stock Banks 407 
University Honours — Oxford, 
Paschal 408 ; Michaelmas - 409 
Cambridge - - - - 410 
The Census - - - - 412 




The New Judges 

- 423 

- 427 

II. — Colonial. 

Speech of the Governor Gene- 
nd of Jamaica - - - 427 

Speech of the Governor of New- 
foundland - - - - 429 

Affairs of Canada - - - 431 

III .— In Arnational. 

Convention with the Republic 
of Huti for suppressing the 
Slave Trade - - - 452 

Convention with the Argentine 
Republic for abolition of 
Slave Trade - - - 454 

Convention of Commerce with 
German Customs Union - 459 

Treaty of Commerce with the 
Shah of Persia . - .461 


Proclamation of the King of 
Hanover .... 463 

Speech of the King of the 
French on opening the Cham- 
bers ..... 466 


China — Capture of the Bogue 
Forts ^468 

Capture of the Forts on the 
Canton River ... 473 

Capture of Canton - . 493 

Chinese Documents - - 515 

The Forgery of Exchequer 

BDls 528 

The Niger Expedition - - 547 




- 555 

- 563 

- 672 







State of affairs and of Public Opinion at the commencement of the 
year — Opening of Parliament by the Queen in person — Her Majesty's 
Speech — Debate in the House of Lords on the Address — Speeches of 
Earl Ducie and Lord Lurgan, the mover and seconder — Attack on 
the Foreign Policy of the Government by Lord Brougham — Speeches 
of Lord Melbourne and of the Duke of Wellington ; emphatic Lan^ 
suage of the latter with respect to France — Address agreed to-^* 
Debate in the House of Commons — Address moved by Lord Braba. 
zon, seconded by Mr, Grantley Berkeley — Discussion on Foreign 
Policy of the Government — Speech of Mr. Groiein opposition to it — 
His concluding Remarks on the Domestic Policy of the Ministers--^ 
Defence of Foreign Policy by Lord John Russell-^ His Answer to 
Mr. Grote on the^rinciples of the Ministry — Speeches of Mr. Hume, 
Mr. Milnes^ Sir Rchert Peel, and Lord Palmerston — Address agreed 
to without division — Remarks on the Queen\s Speech, and the Debate, 
and reflections on the Foreign Policy of the Government — Discussion 
on bringing up the Report on the Address — Sir R. H. Inglis's re- 
marks on Repeal Agitation in Ireland — Lord J. Russell's Answer-^ 
Votes of Thanks carried in both Houses to the Officers engaged in the 
Syrian Expedition — Remarks of the Duke of Wellington on the 
Bombardment of Acre — Letter of Sir Robert Stopford in achiow- 
ledgment of the Vote. 

THE position of affairs at the lively interest in the public mind 

commencement of the year which generally attends the period 

1841 was such as excited a less de- of the re- assembling of parliament. 

gree than usual of that keen and Less curiosity appeared to be felt 
Voi^. LXXXIII. [B] 


as to the measures and events which 
the new session was to disclose, 
less concern and solicitude on either 
side in the struggles and conten- 
tions of the rival parties. This 
might, no doubt, in great part, be 
ascribed to the circumstance, that 
at the time of which we speak, so 
many of the principal questions 
which in former years had vio- 
lently divided the two great parties 
in the state, had been adjusted or 
laid to rest. The hopes or appre- 
hensions of the public were no 
longer excited by the prospect of 
any further extension of political 
rights ; the outcry for the ballot, 
or an enlargement of the suffrage, 
had almost ceased. The established 
church seemed to be reposing in 
tranquillity after the storm ex- 
cited by the assaults of the dis- 
senters; and although the condition 
of Ireland, that inexhaustible source 
of controversy and discussion, still 
presented, in the unsettled question 
of registration, the materials for re- 
newed party- warfare, thecontinued 
and monotonous repetition of Irish 
topics, which had consumed so 
large a portion of preceding ses- 
sions^ had naturally created a weari- 
ness and distaste of the subject in 
the public mind, and had worn out 
the interest once so keenly felt in 
the afiairs of the sister country. 

In the absence of domestic topics 
of more exciting interest, the im- 
portant events which had recently 
taken place on the theatre of the 
East, and the brilliant success of 
the British armament on the coast 
of Syria, formed the chief topics of 
general discussion and attention; 
and the unanimity of feeling on 
events of so much national interest 
as these signal achievements oi the 
British arms, n i ly t€ ed to 
absorb for a ti 
pulset of I f 

influence of these prosperous events, 
and the credit generally attributed 
by candid men of all parties, to the 
policy and address with which our 
foreign relations bad been con- 
ducted to this issue, naturally 
tended, as far as they went, to 
strengthen the bands of the party 
in possession of power, and to in- 
troduce, under more favourable 
auspices, the measures with which 
they might be prepared to meet 
parliament. It was evident, never- 
theless, that the peculiar situation 
of parties in the house of commons, 
which every new election that oc- 
curred was bringing to a still nearei? 
equipoise, could not in the nature 
of things be of long continuance. 
The bare majority by which, in the 
preceding session, by continual con- 
cession and compromise, and not 
without the forbearance of their 
opponents, the whig ministry had 
managed to carry on the govern- 
ment, bad decreased by the casual- 
ties of the recess, and was threat- 
ened with still further diminution ; 
and unless reinforced by some un- 
expected accession of strength, or 
some lucky contingency yet to 
arise in the chapter of accidents, it 
was manifest that the transfer of 
power to the hands of the con- 
servatives, whose strength and con- 
fidence had been steadily on the 
increase, was an event of which 
the exact period only was matter of 
uncertainty. And yet so often be- 
fore had the whig government 
been apparently on the verge of 
dissolution, so many times had it 
weathered the storms which threat- 
ened it with destruction, and so 
great was the influence imputed to 
the soverei^'a reputed predilec- 
tion for ^^ -— " idviaoKB, that 

m^ ^ ^Mriit eicn 

to ^Urii of 



regarded the chances of the game 
as still rather in favour of the party 
in possession. Neither the hopes 
nor fears of the community, there.* 
fore* were much on the alert when 
parliament met; party^spirit had 
perhaps never been less keen, nor 
speculation less active^ in any year 
that had elapsed since the passing 
of the reform act. 

On the 26th of January the 
session was opened by her majesty 
in person, who delivered on the 
occasion the following speech : — 

" My Lords and Gentlemen^ 

^* I have the satisfaction to re- 
receive from foreign powers as* 
surances of their friendly disposi** 
tions, and of their earnest desire to 
maintain peace. 

^' The posture (Mf affairs in the 
levant bad long been ft cause of 
uneasdneas and a source of danger 
to the general tranquillity* With 
a view to avert the evils which a 
continuance of that state of things 
was calculated to pccasioUf I con* 
eluded with the emperor of Aus- 
tria, the king of Prussia, the em» 
peror of Russia^ and the sultan, s^ 
convention intended to effect a pa* 
cification of the Levant, to maintain 
the integrity and independence of 
the Ottoman empirei and thereby 
to affiird additional security to the 
peace of Europet I have given 
directions that this convention shall 
be laid before you. I rejoice to be 
able to inform you that the mea-r 
sures which have been adopted in 
execution of these engagements 
have been attended with signal 
success, and I trust that the ob. 
jects which the contracting parties 
had in view are on the eve of 
being oompl ly accomplished. In 
tlie course oi Knese transaetions my 
mval forces tiave co-operated with 
of the emperor of Austriai and 

with the land and sea forces of the 
sultan, and have displayed upon 
all occasions their accustomed gal* 
lantry and skill. Having deemed 
it necessary to send to the coast of 
China a naval and military force, 
to demand reparation and redress 
for injuries inflicted upon some of 
my subjects by the officers of the 
emperor of Cbina^ and for indig- 
nities offered to an agent of my 
crown> I at the same time ap*- 
pointed plenipotentiaries to treat 
upon these matters with the Cbi« 
nese government. 

''These plenipotentiaries were, 
by the last accounts, in negotiation 
with the government of China; 
and it will be a source of much 
gratification to me if that govern- 
ment shall be induced, by its own 
9eose of justice, to bring these 
matters to a speedy settlement by 
an amicable arrangement, 

'' Serious differences have arisen 
between Spain and Portugal about 
the execution of a treaty concluded 
by those powers in 1835, for regu- 
lating the navigation of the Douro, 
but both parties have accepted my 
mediation, and 1 hope to be able to 
effect a reconciliation between them 
upon terms honourable to both. 

" I have concluded with the 
Argentine Republic, and with the 
Republic of Hayti, treaties for the 
suppression of the slave-trade, 
which I have directed to be laid 
before you. 

*' Gentlemen of the House of 

" I have directed the estimates 
of the year to be laid before you. 
However sensible of the import- 
ance of adhering to the principles 
of economy, I feel it to be ray duty 
to recommend that adequate pro- 
vision be made for the exigencies 
of the public service. 



•' My Lords and Gentlemen, 
" Measures will be submitted to 
you without delay, which have for 
their object the more speedy and 
effectual administration of justice. 
The' vital importance of this sub- 
ject is sufficient to ensure for it 
your early and most serious con- 
sideration. The powers of the 
commissioners appointed under the 
act for the amendment of the laws 
relating to the poor expire at the 
termination of the present year. I 
feel assured that you will earnestly 
direct your attention to enactments 
which so deeply concern the in- 
terest of the community. 

'* It is always with entire con- 
fidence that I recur to the advice 
and assistance of my parliament. 
I place my reliance upon your wis- 
dom, loyalty, and patriotism, and I 
humbly implore of Divine Provi- 
dence, that all your counsels may 
be so directed as to advance the 
great interests of morality and re- 
ligion, to preserve peace, and to 
promote, by enlightened legisla- 
tion, the welfare and happiness of 
all classes of my subjects." 

The address to the throne was 
moved in the house of Lords by 
earl Ducie. The noble lord com- 
menced by saying that he was most 
gratified to find that her majesty 
had received from foreign powers 
assurances of their desire to main- 
tain peace. But dear and valuable 
as peace might be, he was the last 
person to desire that England should 
lose her position among nations by 
a culpable inactivity where her 
active interference was necessary. 
Such was the case which had lately 
arisen in the East, and, in his opi- 
nion, we owed a debt of gratitude 
to the head that planned and to the 
arras that executed the capture of 
Acre. He had every reason to be- 
lieve and hope that our differences 

with China would be speedily 
brought to a conclusion. Canada 
no longer exhibited symptoms of 
disturbance, but, on the contrary^ 
presented grounds for much satis- 
faction with reference to the new 
constitution for the two provinces. 
With regard to domestic politics, 
the country was in the enjoyment 
of quiet. Our agriculture was in 
a state of the greatest prosperity ; 
our manufactures had recovered 
from that depressed state in which 
they had for some time been, and 
had quite resumed that state of 
limited and uncertain prosperity 
beyond which they could not go^ 
so long as there existed restrictive 
duties of such a nature as rendered 
it impossible for any foresight and 
caution to prevent the recurrence 
of famine prices and their conse- 
quences. He did not believe, that« 
in the history of this country, a 
better opportunity had ever been 
offered to the spirit and enterprise 
of our merchants. The noble lord 
then referred at some length to the 
state of our commercial affairs, 
with the view of showing that the 
principal causes which had hitherto 
pressed upon those interests were 
either removed or in the course of 
removal. Before concluding, he 
could not but draw the attention 
of the house to the uniform suc- 
cess which had attended the policy 
of her majesty's ministers. He 
had heard these happy results at- 
tributed to good fortune. He was of 
a different opinion. He referred to 
the prevalence of domestic quiet, to 
the firm administration of the laws; 
and the prospects of peace and ex* 
tended commerce, he thought, were 
due to the manly and straightfor- 
ward course taken by the noble 
lord the secretary for foreign af- 
fairs. There was one other point 
to which he must call their lord-. 



ships' attention ; he alluded to the 
safe delivery of her majesty and 
the birth of an heiress to the 
throne. This was a subject of 
thanks to a higher than earthly 
power^ and there was no reflecting 
person who did not sincerely fee! 
grateful to the all- wise Disposer of 
events, that there was now every 
hope that the inheritance of the 
throne of these realms would de- 
scend in a direct line. The noble 
lord concluded by expressing his 
confidence that their lordships 
would cordially adopt this part of 
the address. The address was then 
read by the noble lord, and was, as 
usual> an echo of the speech from 
the throne. 

Lord Lurgan rose to second the 
address. He began by referring tD 
tlie recent operations in the East> 
which he characterised as having 
been undoubtedly carried on with 
imminent risk^ especially as re* 
garded the friendship between this 
country and France. He was now 
inexpressibly delighted to hear that 
her majesty continued to receive 
from all foreign powers assurances 
of their desire to be at peace with 
this country. He now felt no 
hesitation in saying, thanks to the 
present glorious minister of France^ 
that the peace of Europe would be 
preserved. The noble lord then 
referred, in terms of great pride 
and satisfaction, to the recent 
achievements of the British arms 
in Syria. These events had proved, 
notwithstanding what had been 
said of the deficiencies of our navy 
and arsenals^ that they were in a 
state of perfect competency for any 
purpose which might be required. 
Nothing had been more conspicu* 
ous throughout these proceedings 
than the high principles of in- 
tegrity and perfect good faith of 
the British goyernment ; there was 

no pretence for insinuating that 
England had been influenced in 
the slightest degree by the desire 
of territorial aggrandisement. The 
condutH; of our government had 
been honest, sincere, straightfor- 
ward, and forbearing. After some 
remarks on our policy with respect 
to China, of which he expressed 
his full approbation, the noble lord 
briefly adverted to the auspicious 
event relating to her majesty^ 
which afforded the house so happy 
an opportunity to offer tlieir loyal 
congratulation. He trusted that 
the address would meet with their 
lordships' cordial and unanimous 

Lord Brougham could not let 
the address pass in silence ; he did 
not mean to oppose it, but only to 
remind their lordships, that no one 
who concurred in voting for it 
pledged himself to any proposition 
which it contained. He did not 
find in the present speech^ like the 
noble lord who preceded him, the 
assurance from all foreign powers 
of their desire to maintain friendly 
relations with this country. It was 
so in the speech of last year, but 
not in the present speech, and the 
comparison of the two filled his 
mind with gloomy apprehensions. 
No man could more heartily rejoice 
than himself if the words of the pre. 
sent speech could be applied to our 
present position with regard to the 
French government. To be as- 
sured that the French government 
felt an unabated desire to maintain 
with this country the most friendly 
relations, would relieve him from 
the painful impression that the 
good understanding of the last ten 
years between France and England 
had, at least for the present, been 
terminated, that alliance which 
had secured the peace of Europe 
and of the world. The recent vie- 


lories of our troops, however ho- 
nourable to their skill and gal- 
lantry, might be regarded with 
other feelings than those of pure 
and unmingled congratulation. If 
what had taken place could be jus- 
tified, it could only be on the 
ground of pressing necessity and 
inevitable danger. He did not as- 
sent to the extreme opinion, that 
the best policy for England was to 
isolate herself and take no part in 
the affairs of the continent; but 
there was a wide difference be- 
tween never interfering at all and 
perpetual intermeddling. It was 
of this excess of interference he 
complained. It appeared to him as 
if men or ministers were acting on 
some strange supposition, as if 
there were no difference between 
the British Channel and the Bos- 
phorus, as if Syria were inland^ or 
as if the rule of those countries, 
whether by the sultan or the pacha, 
concerned us as nearly as the rule 
of the French empire under Napo- 
leon. The avowed oliject of those 
proceedings, by which the peace of 
Europe and alliance of France had 
been injured, was to preserve the 
integrity and independence of the 
Ottoman empire. Since when had 
we begun to think it indispensable 
to consult for this object? The 
noble lord then referred to several 
instances of late years> in which, 
as he contended, our conduct had 
been totally at variance with such 
a policy. Our offer to Mehemet 
Ali, in May, 1840, of the pachalic 
of Acre for life, with the fortress, 
which was the key to Syria — Syria 
being the key to the Taurus — the 
Taurus to the Bosphorus — and the 
Bosphonis to Constantinople, was 
utterly inconsistent with that ob- 
ject, of maintaining the independ- 
ence of the Turkish empire, for 
which we were rea^y to sacrifice 

the alliance of France, the only 
solid basis of the peace of Europe. 
To talk of renovating or reor- 
ganizing an empire which had 
been not for years, but for reigns^ 
as if stricken with paralysis, a body 
which had already decayed and 
fallen to pieces, seemed to him the 
most chimerical object that could 
enter the mind of a statesman. If 
Syria could be restored to Turkey, 
what reason was there to suppose 
that she would be able to hold it ? 
The argument urged for our inter- 
ference in behalf of this object was 
that of danger; this must mean, 
on any doctrine of the balance of 
power, general danger to other 
countries— danger to the peace of 
the world. That danger meant 
nothing more nor less than danger 
from Russia herself. It was a 
strange thing indeed that Our po- 
licy being particularly directed 
a^nst Russia, that very power 
was the great patron, if not the 
original proposer, of the very policy 
in question. The zeal with which 
that power entered into the design, 
convincingly proved that she was 
to be in reality the great gainer 
from its result. Russia, perhaps, 
might lose some temporary adviui- 
tages, but nothing in comparison 
of the certain ultimate furtherance 
of her schemes upon Turkey, which 
this policy would promote. It was 
the alliance of France and Eng- 
land which had made it hopeless 
for Russia to turn her eyes upon 
Constantinople* To see coldness 
and mistrust spring up between 
them was her most cherished aim. 
In this object she had unhappily 
thus far succeeded. The govern- 
ment of France was chared with 
an intention of getting bold of 
Egypt for herself. Was it more 
likely that France would attempt 
to carry such a design into e^t if 



sh^ remained at amity with us^ or 
that> if she were separated from us 
and gone round to Russia, who 
would most gladly combine with 
her, those two powers should to- 
gether accomplish the objects re- 
spectively attributed to them ? He 
gave full credit to his noble friend 
(lord Palmerston) for the address 
and ability he had displayed on 
this occasion^ but, however skilful 
the mode of conducting it had 
been, the policy itself might never- 
theless be entirely wrong. He 
wished, before concluding, to make 
one remark respecting the feeling 
of the people of this country to- 
wards France. Let it not be sup- 
posed, on either side of the water, 
that they had ever felt indifferent 
to the prospect of a war, or insen- 
sible to the inestimable blessings of 
peace with France. If it had ever 
entered their heads as a practical 
notion, that they were on the 
point of war with France, he knew 
for certain, that an overwhelming 
majority of the working classes, 
the middle classes, and all the 
liberal party of the nation, would 
have risen up as one man, and said 
to the government, *^ The peace 
with France shall not be broken » 
come what may." The noble lord 
then paid a high tribute to the 
genius, courage, and military skill 
of the French nation, and to their 
honourable and chivalrous cha- 
racter, of which he was sure even 
the noble duke opposite (Welling- 
ton) and his brave companions in 
arms, would never speak otherwise 
than most respectfully. The noble 
duke had always maintained, that 
France must ever be a great and 
leading power in Europe, and 
would have resisted, he was quite 
sure, any propositions which, might 
have been made at the conferences 
of the great powers in 1614 or in 

subsequent years, to encroach upon 
or to humble her. Trusting to the 
prevalence of a reciprocal feeling 
of amity on the part of the French 
nation, he would conclude by ex- 
pressing his earnest hope for con- 
tinued peace between the two 
nations, and for the tranquillity of 
the world. 

Viscount Melbourne said, he 
agreed for the most part in the 
general principles of the able speech 
they had just heard, though he 
could not entirely concur in the 
application of those principles. He 
did not intend to ask the house to 
concur in a vote of approbation on 
the policy which had been pursued 
until he had laid before them the 
fullest information on the whole 
subject — the clearest statement of 
the whole negotiations: after which 
he hoped he should satisfy them 
that a case had existed, if not of 
absolute necessity, yet a case of 
stringent policy, imperatively call- 
ing on the government to act as it 
had done for the purpose of pre- 
serving the peace of Europe. 
Above all, he felt sure that when 
the whole facts were laid before the 
house, they would be satisfied that 
there was not the slightest ground 
for the charge of discourtesy to- 
wards France in the manner in 
which the business had been con- 
ducted. His noble and learned 
friend had asked, what was the 
real object which they had in 
view ? His answer was, the pre- 
servation of peace by the settle- 
ment of the affairs of the Levant, 
and by preserving the integrity of 
the Turkish empire as much as 
they possibly could in the state in 
which it was. As to the alleged 
inconsistency of our policy in for- 
mer years with this object, he 
would not go at length into those 
subjects, but with respect to the 


offers of Egypt and of certain parts 
of Syria to the pacha^ all he would 
say was, that they arose from an 
extreme anxietv to settle the mat- 
ter pacifically and to avert the con- 
juncture which had arisen. It 
was evident from papers on the 
tahle of the house^ that it was the 
intention of the pacha to establish 
his own independence, to found a 
new Mahommedan state on the 
shores of the Mediterranean, and 
by further encroachments to make 
himself the sole or the greatest 
Mahommedan power in that part 
of the world. It was the policy 
of the other powers to prevent the 
execution of such a design. In 
his opinion the only charge which 
could justly be made against them 
was that of too long delaying to 
act, but this was owing to their 
earnest desire to act in concert 
with France : to have her co« 
operation with that of the other 
powers in the pacification of the 
Levant. They had been disap- 
pointed in this, but he still in- 
dulged hopes that an agreement of 
opinion would be come to on this 
subject. His noble friend had 
said, that in the course which 
they had pursued they had served 
the ends of Russia, who would 
be the real gainer. What her 
secret designs might be, he could 
not say, but he would suggest that 
it was possible that that power 
might be desirous to preserve the 
peace of Europe, and to put a stop 
to a state of things by which she 
alone might be compelled to inter- 
fere, as she was compelled by 
solemn treaty to do, for the pre- 
servation of the Turkish empire, 
and by which interference she 
might have compromised the peace 
of Europe. He trusted that ere 
long they should see all the great 
powers of Europe united on this 

question with the view of securing 
the peace of the world. But with 
reference to his noble friend's re- 
marks, he felt called upon to make 
this one observation, viz : — that it 
was not in the power of any one 
nation to command peace. It 
could not contest the proceedings 
of other nations. He would add^ 
that it was not the surest way to 
avoid war, to declare beforehand 
that under no circumstances we 
would resort to that course. 

Lord Brougham explained with 
reference to the concluding re- 
marks of the noble lord, that he 
had never meant to maintain that 
this country ought to go to war 
under no circumstances whatever. 

The duke of Wellington ex- 
pressed his concurrence in the 
address, which he hoped would be 
unanimously agreed to. He was 
one of those who approved of the 
policy of the measures which had 
been taken. The state of things 
in the Levant had for some years 
excited his anxious attention. He 
was happy to say he had reason to 
think that the dangers which me- 
naced the peace of Europe would 
be averted, and that France would 
join the other powers in maintain- 
ing the^ peace of the world. He 
had heard a good deal now and at 
other times, of what was called 
the alliance between France and 
England. Now it was true^ that 
on certain occasions, these two 
powers had acted in concert, and 
apart from the other powers of 
Europe. He knew, however, of 
no other alliance than a good un- 
derstanding between them. At 
other times they had acted sepa* 
rately. On the occasion of the 
negotiations at Verona^ where he 
himself was present as ambassador^ 
France had acted s^arately from 
England^ yet^ England did not 



then take offence at the course she 
pursued. He could not discover 
in the present proceedings any 
cause for just offence On the part 
of France. The only fault he 
could find in the present case was, 
that the negotiations had heen 
carried on orally, rather than hy 
notes according to the usual course. 
If the usual form had been fol- 
lowed it would have been easier 
to decide upon any charge which 
might be made by reference to 
documents. But in his opinion no 
discourtesy had been shown to the recent proceedings, 
nor could he see any just cause of 
difference between the two coun- 
tries. The charges brought by 
Lord Brougham against the con- 
duct of Russia were, in his opinion, 
without foundation. In 1830, 
1831, and 1832, that government 
had made the greatest exertions to 
induce the maritime powers of 
Europe to interfere for the pre. 
vention of the invasion of Syria 
by Mehemet Ali, and if her efforts 
had been successful the Rusisian 
fleet would not have sailed, nor 
would the treaty of Unkiar Ske- 
lessi have been entered into. He 
must say that he saw no peculiar 
advantages that the emperor of 
Russia had gained by agreeing to 
what had been done for the settle, 
ment of the affairs of the Levant, 
and he believed the emperor was 
perfectly sincere in working out 
the same common object with the 
other powers, and that he had no 
such aim as was imputed to him, 
of seeking to break up the alliance 
between France and England. In 
answer to the noble and learned 
lord*s observations, he would say, 
that no man living had done half 
80 much for the preservation of 
peace, and above all for the pacifi- 
cation and maintaining the honour 

of France, and for the promotion 
of her interests, as himself. From 
1814 to the last moment of his 
remaining in office, he had done 
everything in his power to preserve 
the peace of Europe and to keep 
up a good understanding between 
France and England. He re- 
peated that he had done more than 
any one else to place France in the 
situation which she ought to hold 
in the councils of Europe, — ^from 
a firm conviction, which he felt 
now as strongly as ever, that 
if France were not so placed, there 
was no security for the peace 
of Europe, or for a sound decision 
on any subject of general policy. 
His noble friends here, and his 
right honourable friends elsewhere, 
who were in office with him, were 
as anxious for the preservation of 
peace as any politicians, be they 
liberals or otherwise ; they were as 
anxious that France should take 
that station which became her in 
the rank of nations, and to which 
her power, her wealth, and her 
resources entitled her. The noble 
duke concluded by expressing his 
confident hope and expectation 
that the other powers would suc- 
ceed in reconciling France to the 
settlement of the affairs of the 
Levant which had been effected. 

Lord Brougham expressed his 
regret that he nad given offence to 
the noble duke by what he had 
said, but added, that if he had 
only been the means of drawing 
from him the declaration which 
the house had just heard, he felt 
that he had rendered one of the 
most important services that any 
man could perform at the present 

The address was then agreed to 
without a division. 

In the house of commons, on thd 
same day> her majesty's speech 


having been read from the chair^ 
lord Brahozon moved the address. 
The chief topics which he com^ 
mented upon^ after congratulating 
the house on the birth of a princess 
royal^ were the operations in Syria 
and on the Indus, the war in 
China, the differences between this 
country and France, the projected 
reforms in chancery, the poor-law, 
to the working of which he attri- 
buted a marked social and moral 
improvement in the condition of 
the peasantry ; and to the condition 
of Ireland, whose only demand 
and only requisite to become a 
contented and happy country was, 
as he contended, the concession of 
equality of privileges and fran- 
chises with those of England. 
This would be but an act of com- 
mon justice. To the repeal of the 
union, however, he was deter- 
minedly opposed, and he implored 
those who were now agitating that 
measure, to pause ere they brought 
the heaviest calamity on their 
country. The noble lord then read 
the address, which was, as usual, 
an echo of the speech, and ex- 
pressed his confidence that it would 
meet with the unanimous con- 
currence of the house* 

Mr, Grantley Berkley seconded 
the address. He spoke in the 
warmest terms of the recent suc- 
cesses of the British arms in Asia. 
Their triumph in China he con- 
sidered a subject of the greatest 
national exultation. He hailed 
the policy of the noble lord (Pal- 
merston) with satifaction, not only 
in a political and commercial point 
of view, but religiously he was led 
to regard it as the dawning of a 
light that was about to break in 
upon the darkness of that idola- 
trous land. The seeds of a faith 
had been sown which might bring 
forth futux€ harvests, lie then 

proceeded to give a detailed de- 
scription of the circumstances at- 
tending the bombardment of Acre, 
which he characterised as tran- 
scending all former achievements 
of the British arms of the same 
kind. After slightly touching on 
the condition of Canada, and on 
the topic of slavery, he adverted 
to the domestic circumstances of 
the country, and first to the new 
poor law. This, he said, was 
another instance in which the first 
bias of public opinion had been 
wrong. A prejudice had at first 
been excited against the law, but 
now the poor were b^nming to 
.feel the benefit of it, and he could 
speak from personal ezperienoe of 
its satisfactory results. The de- 
ceptive schemes of the chartists 
were seen through and discounte- 
nanced, and the working classses 
had awakened to a sense of their 
absurdity. The interests both of 
the agricultural and manufacturing 
classes were in a prosperous state. 
All these were reasons for the 
highest national exultation, and at 
such a thrice-happy period as the 
present, when all should be con* 
cord and sunshine around the 
throne, he trusted that they would 
join unanimously in an address of 
loyalty to the throne, and grati* 
tude to Divine Providence. 

Mr. Grote next addressed the 
house, and after characterizing the 
speech from the throne as *' not very 
rich in promises; presenting the 
sketch of a session as blank in pros- 
pect, as the preceding session was in 
reality," he proceeded to a search* 
ing scrutiny into the policy and 
measures of the government with 
respect to the eastern question, on 
which his views widely differed 
from those of the speakers who had 
preceded him. The line of argu- 
ment adopted by the honouxiUMe 



member with reference to this 
subject, was very much the same 
as Uiat employed by lord Brougham 
in the other house. Admitting 
the brilliancy of the achievements 
of the British arms, he contended 
that the policy of the expedition 
was indefensible — that Englanti 
had no cause of quarrel or onence 
against Mehemet Ali, on the con- 
trary, that she had been the gainer 
in many respects by his govern- 
ment in Syria, fiven supposing 
France had acquiesced in our mea- 
sures, the alleged object of main- 
taining the independence and in- 
tegrity of the Ottoman empire, 
of guaranteeing the sultan against 
either any external aggression, or 
any attempt at self-emancipation 
on the part of any persons in his 
dominions appeared to him to be a 
policy uncalled for, impolitic, in- 
definite, and indefensible, on any 
correct view of international ob- 
ligation* The consequences of 
adopting such a policy were scarce- 
ly to be calculated, seeing that the 
history of the Turkish empire 
showed that the quarrels of the 
pachas one with another, and the 
revolts of pachas against Uie sultan 
were almost a part of the order of 
nature in that empire. It was 
contended that we ought to inter* 
fere for the sake of frustrating the 
designs of the emperor Nicholas 
upon Constantinople. But if, as 
this argument implied, the only 
mode of counteracting Russian 
designs in this quarter, was to 
outbid that power in offers of ser- 
vice to the sultan, such policy, 
degrading as it would be to this 
country, would present no securi* 
ties against the ambition of the 
emperor) but such as were both 
the most troublesome, the most 
costly, and the least effective. The 
ml security which we possess 

against the acquisition of Con 
stantinople by Kussia TK)nsi$ts in 
the terror of our arms, in the 
emperor's knowing that he will 
not be permitted by England and 
France to make the attempt. The 
argument, that by these measures 
we are counteracting the designs 
of Russia, is refuted by the obvious 
fact, that Russia is herself the 
grand projector of the enterprise. 
The Russian negotiator, count Bru- 
now, was reputed to be a man of 
distinguished sagacity, and unless 
you suppose him in this instance 
to be suicidally or stupidly ruin- 
ing his own interests, one of two 
things must be true-— either that 
Russia has no designs against 
Turkey, in which case our inter- 
ference was needless^ or else Russia 
has aggressive designs, but such as 
admit of being as well or better 
executed after the expulsion of the 
pacha from Syria as before it. In 
either alternative, the conduct of 
Russia proves that our Syrian pro- 
ceedings were in no way calculated 
to obstruct her views. He trusted 
that we might escape the terrible 
calamity of an European war, but 
omens and menaces of warlike pre- 
paration were abroad, and the 
rumours of all Europe being placed 
on an enlarged military establish- 
ment were in themselves no light 
mischief. Entertaining, as he £d, 
the highest opinion of the French 
nation, he could not but look 
upon the prospect of a rupture of 
the good understanding between 
France and England, and the re- 
vival of the feelings of 1815, as a 
signal calamity for both. We had 
gained nothing by our operations 
in Syria to compensate for so great 
a mischief. Granting that the 
eastern question had been 8ettled4 
the noble lord (Palmerston) had 
unsettled at the same time all the 


relations of Europe. Up toj the 
moment when the quadruple treaty 
was signed, the Ottoman empire 
was still conformahle to a settle- 
ment made in 1833, to which the 
nohle lord was himself a party — 
the convention of Kutayah. Me- 
hemet Ali had never violated that 
settlement. The pacha held in 
1840 the same territory which 
that settlement allotted to him. 
The Anglo-Syrian expedition was 
the first direct rupture of this set- 
tlement, and if it was to be set 
aside by the agency of the noble 
lord himself, and a new one to be 
made, the new settlement should 
have been, at least, such as not to 
raise any special grounds of dis- 
union among the great powers of 
Europe. If the Turkish empire 
be disturbed by internal dissensions 
it was right we should interpose 
by amicable mediation ; but he 
wished to record his deliberate 
protest against our undertaking to 
maintain the integrity of that 
empire, against spendinp^ the blood 
and treasure of the English people 
in providing factitious cement for 
that disorderly mass, to which, for 
ages, nature has denied cohesion. 
"If/* continued the honourable 
member, " in respect to our inter- 
nal afiairs we are destined to 
obtain no further progress or im- 
provement, if the cold shadows of 
** finality " have at length closed 
in around us, and intercepted all 
visions of a brighter future; if 
the glowing hopes once associated 
with the reform ministry and the 
reformed parliament have perished 
like an exploded bubble, at least, 
in regard to our foreign affairs, let 
us preserve from shipwreck that 
which is the first of all blessings 
and necessities: that which was 
bequeathed to us by the anti-reform 
ministry and the unreformed par* 

liament, I mean peace and accord 
with the leading nations of Europe 
generally, but especially with our 
nearest and greatest neighbours, 
France." He concluded by saying 
that for these reasons he could not 
concur in any address which spoke 
of our Syrian policy in terms of 
praise or even of acquiescence. 

Mr. James thought, that the 
results of the foreign policy of 
the ministers afforded the most 
triumphant proof of their sagacity 
and wisdom, and entitled them to 
the unanimous approbation of the 
house. He hoped they might long 
continue in office. 

Lord John Russell then rose to 
vindicate the policy of the govern- 
ment against the censures of the 
honourable member for London^ 
and entered at great length into 
an exposition of his views on the 
subject. The object, he said, to 
which these measures had been 
directed, was one which had al- 
ready received the sanction of the 
house both last year and in the 
course of many years past, viz : 
that of maintaining the integrity 
and independence of the Ottoman 
empire, in order thereby to give 
fresh security for the peace of 
Europe. The importance of that 
object had been admitted by Mr. 
Grote himself, only he differed 
with the ministers as to the mode 
by which it was to be done. That 
honourable member was of opinion 
that the peace of Europe was best 
preserved by interfering as little 
as possible with the general afiairs 
of the continent, but using, when 
necessary the terrors of our fleets 
and armies. He thought differ-^ 
ently. He believed that it was 
by idlying ourselves with the other 
powers of Europe interested in the 
preservation of the balance of 
power^ and by a constant and vigi« 



lant attention to the events which 
may affect that balance, that peace 
would be best maintained and the 
balance preserved. Such was the 
policy of sir Robert Walpole> the 
most pacific minister, perhaps^ that 
ever held the reins of power. If 
in the present instance the policy 
recommended by Mr. Grote had 
been pursued, if we had refrained 
from interfering or giving assistance 
to Turkey, the consequence would 
have been that the sultan would 
have been compelled to look to 
Russia alone for succour, the am- 
bition of that power would have 
been aroused, her projects of domi- 
nion would have risen with our 
inaction, and the terror of our 
fleets and armies would have been 
impotent to arrest her progress. A 
war would have been then the ne- 
cessary consequence. He admitted 
that it was not in every case of 
internal dissension or rebellion 
against the sultan that our inter- 
ference was to be exercised : but 
the honourable member for London 
made no distinctions. Was it to 
be said that when the empire was 
in convulsion— a triumphant and 
powerful pacha shaking off allegi- 
ance, and even aiming at supre- 
macy, and a war hovering over Eu- 
rope, we were to look calmly on and 
not interfere.^ Cases must be deter- 
mined according to their circum- 
stances, and no inflexible rule of 
interference or non-interference 
could be laid down. The noble 
lord then entered into a review of 
the position of the Turkish empire, 
recapitulating the principal events 
nrhich occurred, from the termina- 
tion of the war which ended with 
the treaty of Adrianople ; the reduc- 
tion of the power of the sultan, — 
his appeals for protection to Eng- 
land and to Russia — his defeat at 
Nejeib— the assistance then ren- 

dered him by Russia—and the 
treaty of Unkiar Skelessi. He 
then referred to the conduct of 
Mehemet Ali, and his repeated 
invitations to the other pachas to 
join him in a rebellion, the object 
of which was to establish his power 
in the heart of the Turkish em- 
pire. Now it might be said this 
did not affect us. Mehemet Ali 
might be as good a sultan as the 
other. But Russia or Austria 
might regard it differently. Rus- 
sia might say, or Austria might 
say, " I have a treaty with the 
lawful sultan of Constantinople," 
and that the maintenance of those 
treaties was their interest as well 
as their duty. Russian and Aus- 
trian troops would then occupy 
Constantinople— a war would be 
kindled in the east, and such a 
war as it would have been utterly 
impossible for Great Britain to 
look upon in silence. Such would 
have been the result of the pacific 
policy advocated by Mr. Grote. 
The noble lord then proceeded to 
enter into a detailed account of 
the course and progress of the ne- 
gotiations which had taken place 
between the different powers prior 
to the formation of the treaty, in 
which he gave credit to the em- 
peror of Russia for the most perfect 
good faith and sincerity in co- 
operating with the other powers 
of Europe to bring about the set- 
tlement of the Levant, and de- 
fended his own government from 
the charge of discourtesy toward 
France, and from all blame of 
producing the estrangement which 
he regretted as sincerely as the 
honourable member for London 
did. That blame justly belonged 
to France, who had endeavoured 
to give to the difference a national 
colour by appealing to popular 
passions, and had threatened the 


peace of Europe by the prepara- 
tion of vast armaments. The noble 
lord quoted extracts from some 
despatches of M. Guizot, who 
attested the suicere desire of the 
English government to draw closer 
the bonds of French alliance^ and 
the absence of interested and ag- 
gressive designs manifested by the 
conduct of Russia. For the French 
people, he (Lord J. Russell) enter- 
tained the highest esteem and 
admiration, and he could not won- 
der that, when their honour was 
represented as being assailed, much 
popular irritation and jealousy 
should arise; but he did wonder 
that the government of France 
should be so reckless as thus to 
endanger the peace of the two 
countries^ and to misrepresent the 
feelings of England towards her 
neighbour. The real reason why 
an agreement could not take plaee 
between France and the other 
powers was this, that France seem- 
ed to have laid down for herself a 
rule, that whatever Mehemet All 
positively refused to do, no co- 
ercion on the part of the European 
powers should compel him to do. 
In every arrangement and propo* 
sition made to her by the rest of 
Europe, France had been swayed 
by the determination to look al- 
ways to what would be acceptable 
at Alexandria rather than to what 
would be sectiie and honourable at 
Constantinople. With reference 
to the operations which had taken 
place since the conclusion of the 
treaty, the noble lord, after highly 
extolling the gallantry of the ex- 
ploit, took occasion to express his 
satisfaction that those events would 
completely refute the imputations 
which it had been lately the fa« 
shion to make against the existing 
efficiency of the navy. He had 
predicted that, if an opportonity 

was afforded, that force would oon* 
found by their deeds all those who 
ventured to doubt their efficiency. 
Such an occasion had been given, 
and had fully verified his predic. 

Such was the substance of the 
noble lord*s defence of the policy 
of his colleagues with reference to 
the eastern question, of which our 
space forbids us to furnish a longer 
detail. With respect to matters 
of domestic policy he added a few 
words, which, as they were conn- 
dered of some importance at the 
time as an authoritative declara* 
tion of the spirit and intentions 
of the existing government, we 
shall subjoin entire:-^ 

'^ I shall not trespass upon the 
house by entering at all upon mut- 
ters of domestic policy, unlesa it 
be to state to the honouraUe mem- 
ber for London that he is com- 
pletely mistaken in saying that 
the government were in any senee 
enemies to improvement. He (lord 
J. Russell) held that a oontinuel 
progress in improvement had been 
made in the commercial affiiirs, in 
the judicial institutions of the 
country, and in other matters of 
domestic concern; that continual 
progress and improvement formed 
the principles by which he (lord 
J. Russell) and the government 
would be anxious to abide; but 
while he would not mistake abuaes 
for institutions— while he would 
not give to abuses that defenee he 
would afibrd to institutions, so, on 
the other hand, he would not mia* 
take institutions for abuses, and 
attack institutions as abuses in the 
political system. He wished to 
maintain the institutions of the 
country ; he wished not to under- 
take any reform, though called 
improvement, which might be in- 
compatible with those institutiens; 



he wished to maintain the esta- 
hlished churchy the hereditary 
house of lords, and the hereditary 
monarchy^ and if any plans should 
be proposed inconsistent with those 
institutions they would have his 
most decided opposition. If any 
plans should be brought forward 
which, as he thought, tended to 
the establishment of a republic, to 
overturn the church, or to destroy 
the hereditary peerage, he should 
state his sentiments upon them in 
his place, and the grounds of his 
opposition to them; but it was 
not just to contend that resistance 
to the innovation of dangerous 
changes of this kind was a resist* 
anoe to all improvement* (Hear, 
hear.) To any improvements that 
could be effected without the dis- 
torfaanoe of the political system of 
the country he wished to be con- 
sidered as the friend, and to such 
he would gladly lend his aid in 
carrying them into effect. He had 
DOW stated all he thought neces* 
sary at present as to the general 
views of the foreign and domestic 
policy of the government— there 
would be many other occasions 
upon which the opinion of the 
house would be taken upon those 
views. The government was ready 
to have the responsibility of all 
these matters, and while they con- 
tinued ministers of the crown they 
would serve the crown faithfully 
and to the best of their ability." 
(Load cheers.) 

Mr. Milnes expressed his great 
disappointment at the omission of 
any expressions of regret on the 
rupture whidi had occurred be* 
tween this country and France. 
He protested against the assump- 
tion that by the treaty of July the 
integrity and independence of the 
Ottoman empire had been secured. 
The word ** integrity/' as it was 

used, was a mere diplomatic fallacy. 
The independence of no state could 
be secured by foreign interference. 
No person could see in the recent 
transactions any thing more than 
a transfer of the Ottoman empire 
from the protectorate of the five 
powers to the protectorate of Eng- 
land and Russia. He did not be- 
lieve that the noble lord (Palmer- 
ston) had really contemplated any 
accession of territory, or any exclu- 
sive advantages to England, but 
for that very reason he objected to 
the great expense and risk which 
had occurred without any compen- 
sating advantage. What had Eng- 
land gained by what had taken 
place since last year ? No advan- 
tage whatever had been acquired, 
but the anger and jealousy of 
France had been arous^ and they 
had been brought to the verge of 
an European war« He accused the 
ministers of shortaghtedness, of 
disregard of French history, and 
ignorance of the feelings of the 
French people. He thought, if 
France and Russia had combined*— 
to the exclusion of England, as 
Russia and England had now com- 
Hned to the exclusion of France, 
the people of this country would 
have risen as one man, and no mi* 
nistry who submitted to such a 
combination could have maintained 
their power. They were now in a 
state of armed peace, which was 
peace without its profits, and war 
without its stimulants, than which 
nothing was more trying to a coun- 
try . France was arming, and Eng- 
land, with all the emlmmissments 
arising from the present state of 
her finances, would be obliged to 
arm also. He called on the govern- 
ment for some expression of regret 
on account of our present position 
towards France. He called on them 
to calm the eflfervescence of Franoe, 


SO as to prepare the way for her 
readmission into the European coa- 
lition^ which was the only security 
for peace and the safety of England. 
There was no animosity in this 
country towards France^ and there- 
fore he hoped that every member 
who spoke after him would make 
up for the omission in the speech^ 
by expressing individually his re- 
gret for what had occurred, and 
his hopes of a speedy adjustment 
with that country. 

Mr. Hume considered the policy 
of the noble viscount to have been 
not only bad but wicked, for it 
carried desolation and ruin into the 
Syrian provinces, and for no pur- 
pose that he knew of connected 
with the interest of England. He 
blamed the noble viscount for per* 
severing in a policy in which he 
stood alone. It was well known 
that the majority of the cabinet 
were against .him. Mehemet Ali 
had never threatened the indepen- 
dence of the Turkish empire : he 
defied the ministers to produce a 
single document to show that there 
was any disposition on his part to 
move against Constantinople. If 
England desired to secure peace, 
all she had to do was to allow Me- 
hemet Ali and the sultan to make 
their own terms^ and settle their 
own differences. He disbelieved 
that the emperor Nicholas seriously 
desired to maintain the integrity 
of the Ottoman empire. All the 
mischiefs which had occurred had 
been caused by the abandonment 
of the principle of non-interven- 
tion. He called the attention of 
the house to the dilapidated state 
of the revenue, which, he said, was 
less productive since the recent 
taxes than before them. There 
was no notice in the speech of the 
state of the revenue — no notice 
of the subject of education^ nor 

of the present state of our com- 
mercial regulations, nor of the 
condition of the working classes. 
The honourable member concluded 
by proposing an amendment of his 
own, condemning the war with 
Syria and the expense occasioned 
by it, and deploring the rupture 
with France, and regretting that 
the attention of the house had not 
been called to the state of the re- 
venue and the distress and discon- 
tent of the labouring classes. 

Sir Robert Peel then addressed 
the house. He commenced by an- 
imadverting on the omissions of 
the speech — the state of Canadit— 
the boundary question — Ireland 
and the repeal agitation-* the war 
in India, and the inconsequent al- 
lusion to China. It was a most 
successful speech, if the merit of 
such documents consisted in saying 
as little as possible. Applying him- 
self then to the subject of our fo- 
reign policy, he expressed his deep 
regret and despondency at the 
altered state of our relations with 
France, and at the menacing din 
of military preparation. With re- 
spect to France he had never held 
but one language and one opinion 
— that a coital understanding be- 
tween France and England was 
essential to the peace and welfare 
of Europe. He did not see so 
fully as some did the advantages 
of an intimate alliance of an ex- 
clusive nature between the two 
states, giving offence to what were 
called the great military and des- 
potic powers of Europe, but he felt 
roost strongly that the best interests 
of humanity were involved in the 
maintenance of cordial good will 
and amity between this country 
and France. The French nation 
entertained a false conception of 
the feeling of the people of this 
country towards them. It was not 



true that we felt triumph at the 
supposed humiliation of France. 
Though she had heen called our 
natural enemy^ and we had heen 
long and warmly engaged in con- 
flict with her, he did not helieve, 
that there was any wish on the 
part of this community to see her 
power or authority curtailed, or 
that there would be any rejoicing 
here at any reverses which might 
befal her. At the same time he 
was not prepared to say> that the 
policy which had been pursued^ of 
attempting the settling of the east- 
ern question was not justified by 
necessity. We could not disguise 
from ourselves the peculiar relative 
position of the Russian empire and 
of Constantinople. Now^ if in the 
present instance we had refused to 
interfere, and if Russia really en- 
tertained the ambitious designs 
imputed to her, where was the 
security against her taking upon 
herself the exclusive protection of 
the Turkish empire ? If, in con- 
sequence of this, she should gain 
possession of Constantinople, would 
the honourable member for London 
look on such an event with com- 
placency ? He would advocate, in 
that event, our dispossessing her 
by force ; but was it not wise to 
adopt that policy which would pre. 
vent Russia from getting there, 
and prevent our being compelled 
to go to war with Russia on ground 
where she must have a great ad- 
vantage over us ? It might be no 
easy matter to make the evacuation 
of Constantinople by Russia one 
condition of peace with us. The co- 
operation of France in the set- 
tlement of this question would 
undoubtedly have been of inesti- 
mable value; but if four great 
powers of Europe, acting, as he 
might assume, with perfect inte- 
grity, were convinced that the ge- 

neral interests of Europe required 
active intervention, he was not 
prepared to say, that the refusal of 
one power to co-operate with them 
made it necessary for them to de- 
sist, otherwise that single power 
might acquire an undue prepon- 
derance in the affairs of Europe, 
and might be tempted to extend 
its influence beyond the due range. 
He would, therefore, suspend his 
opinion with respect to the con- 
vention, till the house received such 
further information as the ministers 
had to give ; in the meantime it 
would be injustice to join in the 
censure pronounced by the amend- 
ment on the parties to that treaty. 
He could make every allowance 
for the sensitive and susceptible 
feeling with which the French 
people might naturally regard a 
revival of the alliance of 1814, 
though there was really no analogy 
in principle between the two trea- 
ties. The circumstances of the past 
history of France rendered it espe- 
cially necessary that there should 
have been no want of courtesy 
shown her in the late negotiation. 
Now, there was one part of the 
proceedings which had given him 
great concern. It appeared, that 
up to the 14th July, the day be- 
fore the treaty was signed, M. 
Guizot was kept in ignorance of 
what was going on. He thought, 
considering the character of M. 
Guizot, and his friendly disposition 
towards England, it would have 
been well to have apprised him, in 
the most temperate and conciliatory 
way, of what was about to be done. 
Such a course would have given 
much less offence than that which 
had been adopted, of first signing 
the treaty , and then communicating 
the fact. The right honourable 
baronet then protested against par- 
liament having been allowed to 


separate last year without inform- 
ation having been given to it of 
the events then in progress. If 
such conduct were to become a 
precedent, it would undermine the 
au thori ty of parliament . He agreed 
with those who had expressed re- 
gret at the omission of all mention 
(rf" France in the speech. Such an 
expression would have involved no 
concession, and could not have been 
ascribed to any but the real cause. 
He sincerely hoped that the clouds 
which now overhung Europe would 
soon disperse. He deprecated war 
as the most mischievous of all ca- 
lamities ; it would be attended by 
the addition of taxation, the waste 
of capital, the revival of bad pas- 
sions, and other most disastrous 
consequences. It was said that the 
eastern question was settled, but 
be considered that a thousand ques- 
tions might yet arise and create 
difficulties, and that no settlement 
could be efficacious unless they 
could still prevail upon France to 
become a party to it. He thought 
that there was nothing to prevent 
our now taking fresh steps, and 
inviting the interference of France. 
Their recent success affi>rded a fa- 
vourable opportunity, without in- 
volving any derogatory concessions, 
for again appealing to France to 
join with us, and enter into our 
plans for the interests of the Porte, 
and for the peaceof Europe. Sir Ro- 
bert Peel then referred to a letter 
written by marshal Soult on 17th 
July, 1839, in which he laid great 
stress upon the importance of pre- 
serving the integrity of the Otto- 
man empire as an essential element 
of the balance of power ; and con- 
cluded by saying, that he was con- 
vinced that if there were any two 
men who would desire to shun an 
unnecessary conflict with England, 
they were marshal Soult and M. 

Gu i zot. He ran some risk of doing 
them an injury by the compliment 
he was now paying them ; but he 
could not refrain from expressing 
his hope that these two distin- 
guished men might be successful in 
maintaining peace^ and rescuing 
both France and England from the 
calamity of renewed hostilities. 

Viscount Palmerstonsaid^ that in 
the concluding part of sir Robert 
Peel's speech he fully concurred ; in- 
deed, he had gone further than the 
right honourable baronet on this 
question, and had had,on formeroo* 
casionSfto stand up and justify him- 
self against the charge of attadiing 
too much importance to the connec- 
tion. He was persuaded, when tiie 
Frencli people came to r^ard this 
subject with cooler temper tnd 
more deliberate reflection, that they 
would see there had been no dis- 
position to treat them with unfair- 
ness^ and that they would come 
round to that better frame of Ced- 
ing towards England which wat 
so ardently to be desired. He was 
ready to admit and to declare, that 
France, possessed as she was of 
vast naval and military pown'^ tmi 
placed as she was geographically 
in the centre of Europe^ could not 
be excluded from the great afliiirt 
of Europe^ and that no transaction 
could be completely or securely 
settled unless she were in one way 
or other a party to it. With re- 
spect to the allegation of sir Robert 
Peel, that sufficient court had not 
been paid to France, in conse- 
quence of the omission to apprise 
her minister that the treaty wat 
about to be completed, the noble 
lord contended that there was no 
ground for such a charge— >t}iat 
every endeavour had been made to 
obtain the co-operation of Fiance 
— that concessions had been ofiered, 
and that, after the repeated refusals 



whidi she had given to he a party 
to the arrangement, it would have 
heen a mere modcery to have again 
called upon her to revoke her re- 
fusal— <-that it would have implied 
that our former answer to her was 
not sincere, and would have heen, 
in fact, an act of incivilitv instead 
of a measure of conciliation. More- 
over, it must be obvious to all who 
had tead the French debates, that 
if such a course had been pursued, 
it would have defeated the success 
of the measures. The avowed ob- 
ject of the French government was 
to gain lime by means of negotia- 
tion ; and if the four powers had 
aeted in the manner suggested, and 
lost time by submitting the treaty 
for the consent of France, her ob« 
ject of procrastinatiDn would have 
been answered, and all operations 
for that yearefibctually prevented. 
The right honotiraUe baronet had 
said that Parliament ought not to 
have been allowed to separate last 
year witliout having had theengage. 
ments laid before it into which the 
country was about to enter. To 
have laid the treaty itself before 
parliament, before its ratification 
by the contracting parties, was im- 
possible; but as to the general 
nature of the treatv, it had become 
matter of public notoriety before 
parliament separated* and had been 
twiee the Subject of discussion in 
that bouse. Any member, there- 
fere, had it in his power to pass an 
opinion either of ^eensure or ap- 
proval upon these arrangements. 
It would be the duty of th^ go- 
vernment hereafter to lay before 
the house such facts as would en- 
able it to form a deliberate eonclu- 
sionupon these matters. His noble 
ft-iend k^rd Jdin Russell had stated, 
in so able and impressive a manner, 
the general outline of the grounds 
en which their policy had retted. 

that it was only necessary to refer 
to his speech for its justification. 
The object of that policy was to 
avert events which would have 
involved the great powers in the 
most serious difficulties ; its success 
was more rapid and complete than 
those who were best informed on 
such matters could have ventured 
to expect. With respect to the 
omission of all mention of France 
in the address, it was not because 
the government did not feel sin- 
cere regret at her not being a party 
to the treaty, but because it would 
have been unusual, and inconsist- 
ent with the ordinary principle on 
which speeches from the throne 
were framed, to have expressed 
regret at the interruption of a good 
umlerstanding which had not been 
marked by any diplomatic event. 
If either country had withdrawn 
its ministert or tatosi any distinct 
step interrupting the diplomatic 
relations of the two countries, that 
would have been a public act of 
which the crown might have taken 
notice; but to have noticed the 
mere existence of an irritation 
which had been manifested in va- 
rious ways, would have been in- 
consistent with the usual rules 
on which such documents were 
framed. The debate here termi- 
nated, Mr. Hume withdrew his 
amendment, and the address was 
agreed to, and referred to a com- 

It has {»:obably rarely happened 
of late years that the debate on the 
opening of parliament has been 
marked by so complete an omission 
of all topics of domestic concern, as 
on this occasion. Foreign polities 
engrossed the entire attention of 
both houses, and the ministers 
completely succeeded in what we 
think was obviously their design 
in framing the royal apeedi-^that 


of avoiding any issue which might 
have involved a trial of strength 
with the opposite benches, and 
choosing for their battle-field a 
question on which little hazard of 
a conflict could be anticipated. De- 
siring to secure a favourable and 
auspicious opening for the new 
campaign, they prudently took 
their stand upon that branch of 
their policy of which the present 
results at least had been confes- 
sedly brilliant and decisive. The 
consciousness of numerical weak- 
ness prompted them, on the other 
hand, to observe a cautious silence 
in the speech upon topics nearer 
home, a discussion upon which 
might have led to a less favourable 
result, and might have weakened 
the precarious tenure on which 
they held their power. With re- 
spect to that question which thus 
formed the almost exclusive subject 
of debate — the treaty of July, and 
the operations which followed — 
we think it will be generally agreed, 
upon a candid review of the argu- 
ments by which lord Brougham and 
Mr. Grote on the one side attacked, 
and viscounts Melbourne, and Pal- 
merston, and lord John Russell on 
the other defended, the ministerial 
policy, that the justification of the 
measures of the government was 
on the whole satisfactory and com- 
plete. It was clearly shown, we 
think, that while no exclusive ad- 
vantages for England were aimed 
at by the measures pursued, her 
interest, as identified with those 
of the great commonwealth of Eu- 
ropean ]K)wers, had been wisely 
consulted, and that her interference 
had been imperatively required to 
preserve the independence and in* 
tegrity of the Ottoman empire, an 
object which, by the common con- 
sent of the great powers of Europe, 
and in the opinion of the wisest 

statesmen, was an essential element 
to the balance of European power, 
under the peculiar circumstances 
in which Turkey and Russia were 
relatively situated. Nothing was 
established which could justly im- 
peach the sincerity and good faith 
of the latter power in these trans- 
actions, and though it was objected, 
with some show of plausibility, that 
it was absurd to suppose that any 
additional security against the de- 
signs of Russia could be gained by 
operations in which Russia herself 
was a leading agent, yet, on the 
other hand, there is irresistible 
force in the reasonings by which 
lord John Russell and sir Robert 
Peel demonstrated the formidable 
consequences which might have re- 
sulted to the other powers of Eu- 
rope if, while they remained pas- 
sive, the sultan had been driven by 
the terror of his encroaching vassal 
to throw himself upon the exclu- 
sive support of Russia, which would 
have led to the establishment of 
that power in the exclusive pro- 
tectorate of the Turkish empire. 
We think it will be equally aear, 
in the judgment of those who may 
hereafter peruse the history of these 
transactions, that France had really 
no just cause for complaint or angry 
feeling on account of her exclusion 
from a share in the arrangements 
of the other powers. That exclu- 
sion was entirely her own act, and 
her conduct from first to last, in 
these transactions, only deserves to 
be characterised as petulant, selfish, 
and inconsistent; while the at- 
tempt to excite the sensitive feel- 
ing of nationality among her peo- 
ple against England, as having 
wounded her honour and thrown 
slight upon her dignity, was justly 
condemned by some of the speakers 
in this debate^ as in the highest 
degree unworthy of her govern- 



ment. The objection suggested by 
sir Robert Peel, that more regard 
might have been shown to the 
situation and personal feelings of 
M. Guizot, by apprising him be- 
forehand of the intended comple- 
tion of the treaty, seems to us, if 
not entirely cleared up by the ex- 
planation of viscount Palmerston, 
yet not materially to alter the merits 
of the case, far less to vindicate the 
spirit with which these transactions 
were resented by the French na- 
tion. But in whatever light the 
conduct of France may be viewed, 
we cannot but regard the language 
used with reference to her, by the 
leading speakers in both houses^ as 
both admirably prudent and well* 
timed in their pacific effect, and as 
exhibiting a spirit of forbearance 
and magnanimity truly worthy of 
British statesmen. The anxious 
regard for the honour and true in. 
terests of our ancient rival mani. 
fested by such men as the duke of 
Wellington and sir Robert Peel, 
could not but produce a most tran- 
quiUising and beneficial result on 
the public mind on both sides of 
the channel, while the earnest de- 
sire which they expressed for her 
restoration to her rightful share in 
the counsels and operations of the 
powers of Europe, was peculiarly 
dignified and becoming, both as 
uttered in the flush of a success 
achieved without her assistance, 
and as a striking contrast to the 
petulant and irritable spirit which 
a large portion of the French nation 
had so recently displayed towards 
Great Britain. Practically such ex- 
pressions as these made ample 
amends for the omission, so much 
commented on, of all allusion to 
France in the royal speech, for which 
the very unsubstantial technicality 
pleaded by viscount Palmerston 
will probably be scarcely deemed 

a valid apology, as indeed there 
can be little doubt that it was not 
the operative reason. To soothe 
the wounded feelings of our neigh- 
bour was, therefore, a task which 
devolved upon, and was certainly 
most adequately discharged by, the 
statesmen in opposition to the go- 

Another omission in the royal 
speech was afterwards made the 
subject of observation. On the 
bringing up of the report on the 
address, sir R. H. Inglis called the 
attention of the government to the 
recent alarming agitation of the 
repeal question in Ireland, and to 
the inflammatory language held by 
Mr. O'Connell on that subject. 
Large meetings had been held in 
some of the principal towns of Ire- 
land, at which hundreds of thou- 
sands had been present. The Irish 
government had thought it neces- 
sary to move troops to the support 
of the civil power, in consequence 
of these proceedings. Mr. O'Con- 
nell had recently said, that the re. 
peal of the union was now become 
a vital question, and that every 
man henceforth must take his stand 
as a conservative or a repealer. He 
wished to know if the noble lord 
(lord John Russell) was prepared to 
adopt this alternative; if so, to 
which division he meant to attach 

Lord John Russell answered, 
that though, in his opinion, a no- 
tice of subjects of this kind was in 
some cases called for in the royal 
speech, there were others in which 
such mention served only to give 
additional weight and importance 
to the agitators of popular feel- 
ing, and was consequently better 
avoided. His noble friend the lord- 
lieu tenant of Ireland had recently 
spoken out in very plain terms on 
this sul\ject> and that might be 


considered a sufficient declaration 
of the sentiments of the govern- 
ment. He did not accept the dictum 
of the honourable member for Dub- 
lin> nor feel bound to his alterna- 
tive of conservatism or repeal. 

The subject was then dropped. 

In the house of lords, on the 4th 
of February, the earl of Minto 
moved the thanks of the house to 
admiral sir Robert Stopford, G.C.B., 
and the officers and men under his 
command in the late operations on 
the coast of Syria. His lordship 
paid a just tribute to the merits of 
that portion of the British fleet 
which had been employed on this 
occasion. After a few words of 
approbation from lord Colchester, 
the duke of Wellington, in terms 
of the most earnest and cordial na- 
ture, expressed his admiration of 
the services performed by those 
engaged in the glorious expedition 
under discussion, lie considered 
the present achievement one of the 
greatest deeds of modem times, but 
thought it his duty to warn their 
lordships that they must not al- 
ways expect that ships, however 
well commanded, or however gal- 
lant their seamen might be, could 
be capable of engaging success- 
fully with stone walls. The vote 
was then carried unanimously, and 
on the following day lord John 
Russell moved the thanks of the 
house of commons to the same gal- 
lant individuals. He gave a short 
narrative of the reduction of Acre, 
and bestowed a warm eulogy on 

the services of those who achieved 
it. The political questions con- 
nected with the Syrian war did 
not arise upon the present occasion. 
But, referring to the improvements 
of modern times in the arts and 
machinery of war, be wished to 
observe that their successful results 
were owing in a great degree to 
the character of the men who had 
applied and directed them-<^a cha- 
racter formed and exalted by the 
institutions of a great and free 
country, and combining in a re- 
markable degree the qualities of 
valour and qi prudence. 

Lord Stanley seconded the mo- 
tion. He agreed that, the political 
merits of the contest were not now 
in discussion ; the present duty ef 
the house was only to record tb^ir 
high opinion of the officers and 
men who had done so much honour 
to their country. He was anj^ioua, 
on the part of his own side of the 
house, to express, that whi^tever 
might be the differences of pioty^ 
there was but one feeling among 
men of all politics on the subject 
of the country's success, and of the 
gallantry of her forces. 

Viscount Ingestre, sir R, H« log- 
lis,and other members, warmly 8U|i^ 
ported the motion, which was car- 
ried unanimously. 

On the 6th of April, a letter 
from sir Robert Stopford, acknow- 
ledging in suitable terms th^ vote 
of thanks, was read to the house 
by the speaker, and ordered Uf be 
entered on the journals. 



Poor Law Amendment Act — Exjnration of the power of the Commis- 
sioners — State of Public Opinion and division of Parties with respect 
to the Law — Efforts of the Press — Lord John Russell moves for 
leave to bring in a Bill — Vehement Opposition of Mr, Wakley and 
other Members — Speeches of Sir F. Burdett and Lord John Russell—^ 
Debate on second Reading — Speeches of Mr. ly Israeli, Mr. Wakley , 
Mr, Gaily Knight ^ Sir Robert Peel, Viscount Howick, and Lord John 
Russell — Division on the second Reading — Motion of Mr, Townley 
Parker, that the Bill should be committed that day six months, re* 
Jected by a large majority — Strictures of Sir Robert Peel on the lan- 
guage used by the Ccymmissioners in their public Documents — Obser* 
vations of Lard G. Somerset and Viscount Sandon to a similar effects- 
Renewal of power of Commissioners for Jive years carried — Discus- 
sion upon Union Schools and compulsory Education — Speech of Sir 
Robert Peel thereupon — Mr. Colquhouns motion for the appointment 
of Chaplains to Unions — Remarks — Ultimate fate of the Bill at the 
dissolution of Parliament — Return of Mr, Walter for Nottingham-^ 
Progress and working of the Poor Law in Ireland — Inquiry in the 
House of Lords respecting Clonmel Union — Resolution of the House 
respecting the Secretary to the Poor Law Commissioners in Ireland. 

THE powers of tbe poor-law the laws relating to the poor in 

commissioners^ which had England." 

been limited by the act of parlia- Although much diversity of opi- 

ment to a period of five years^ nion^ and even considerable excite- 

would^ in due course> have expired ment of feelings existed at this 

at the close of the present year, time with respect to the principles 

The speech fr(Hn the throne ad- and working of the new poor-law^ 

verted to this among the very few perhaps upon no single measure 

topics of domestic concern which introduced of late years has the 

were touched upon^ as calling for public mind been less affected by 

the earnest and immediate atten- those party feelings which influ- 

tion of parliament. Accordingly, ence the views taken of almost 

on the 29th of January, lord John every question submitted to the 

Russell moved> in the house of legislature. The whigs, as a body^ 

commons^ for leave to bring in might indeed be said generally to 

'' A bill to continue the poor law be in favour of the new system, 

commission for a time to be limited^ but among those who usually sup- 

and for the further aoaendment of ported them^ though differing by 


various degrees of liberalism, were 
many who regarded with invete- 
rate hostility, and who loudly de- 
nounced, the law, its authors, the 
commissioners, and all the agents 
concerned in its execution. The 
language held on this subject by 
some men of wild and extreme po- 
litical views was of a very inflam- 
matory nature, and had been em- 
ployed with very exciting effect on 
several occasions. On the other 
hand, while the leaders of the con- 
servative party in parliament had 
avowed a distinct though modified 
assent to the measure, such could 
by no means be described as the 
general feeling of that body, which 
comprised numerous persons as de- 
cidedly and strongly opposed to it as 
any among the radicals themselves, 
and who frankly expressed dissent 
from their usual leaders and guides 
with reference to this question. 
The discontent felt by the oppo- 
nents of the measure was sedu- 
lously fanned and kept alive by a 
portion of the public press, which 
industriously gave publicity to 
every case of alleged mismanage- 
ment or oppression on the part of 
those invested with authority by 
the act^ and strove to foment, upon 
popular grounds, an opposition to 
the proposed renewal of the powers 
of the commissioners. These ef- 
forts were not without effect, and 
the difficulties experienced by the 
ministers in the progress of the 
measure which we are now about 
to record, may doubtless, in a great 
measure, be referred to the active 
endeavours of the press to repre- 
sent opposition to the authority of 
the commissioners, as an evidence 
of regard for the interests of the 
poorer classes, and to inculcate it 
as the best recommendation to 
jpopular favour. 
On lord John Russell's moving 

for leave to bring in his proposed 
hill to continue the powers of the 
commissioners for ten years, and 
to make certain amendments and 
alterations in the act, several mem- 
bers spoke strongly in opposition 
to it. 

Mr. Wakley objected in strenu. 
ous terms to the course ^proposed. 
He denounced the principle of the 
act as harsh and tyrannical, the in- 
stitution of the commissioners as 
both expensive and useless. He 
was surprised that a ministry call- 
ing itself reformed should propose 
the continuance of such a law after 
the experience they had had of its 
pernicious and most cruel working. 
He wished to know what duty the 
commissioners were to do ; whether 
the law was to be in their will or 
in the statute-book. The office he 
held (as coroner for Middlesex) 
gave him opportunities of know* 
ing how much the law was dis- 
liked by the middle classes ; they 
considered that the workhouse had 
been made a place of torture in- 
stead of protection, with a view to 
deter the poor from asking any as- 
sistance. Among the poor, also, 
the abhorrence to the only species 
of relief which the law allowed of 
was still more strong. He knew 
of two instances that occurred in 
one week, of persons who preferred 
death rather than resort to the 
workhouse ; they declared they 
would rather die than be separated 
from their children in the manner 
proposed by the new poor-law, 
and they did die, rather than go 
into the workhouse. The honour- 
able member referred to the case of 
the Kensington union, where, as 
he alleged, fathers, mothers, sons, 
and daughters were located in four 
different houses in different parish- 
es, and, after descanting on the 
harshnessj inhumanityi and im* 



policy of the law> declared his ir- 
reconcileable opposition to any ex- 
tension of the office of the com- 

Mr. Wakley's views were sup- 
ported by several members. 

Sir F. Burdett said^ he had al- 
ways disapproved the principle of 
the new poor-law, as unconstitu- 
tional, and repugnant to the habits 
and feelings of the people ; and he 
did not think the proposed bill 
could be so framed as to render it 
a permanent measure, or one which 
the country ought to adopt. The 
system could never be made palat- 
able to the people of England. 
Men who loved the public liberty 
could never be reconciled to the 
tribunal at Somerset-house, and it 
was the universal feeling, that that 
at any rate should be abolished. It 
was impossible to frame unbending 
laws for remote places and un- 
known circumstances without the 
greatest mischief. He thought 
that parliament had done a most 
dangerous thing in introducing so 
cruel an experiment, and he would 
support any motion for its repeal. 

Mr. Hume urged the gross 
abuses of the old system, and the 
necessity for some such reform as 
this law had introduced. The rules 
were not unbending ones — the 
commissioners had been entrusted 
with a discretion. Great benefit 
had been produced by the law, and 
the house ought to do their best 
to make it still more useful. He 
doubted, however, the expediency 
of extending the continuance of 
the commission to so long a period 
as ten years. 

Lord John Russell observed, that 
It would of course be for the house 
to determine the duration of the 
commission. It would have been 
the easiest course for himself to let 
the powers of the conomissioiiers 

expire; but he thought his duly 
required him to deal positively 
with so important a subject. The 
labouring classes must depend on 
wages, on public relief, or on pri- 
vate charity. The old system con- 
founded all these, and put the 
honest and industrious on a level 
with the idle and vicious ; and it 
pretended to do that by public re- 
lief which only private charity 
could effect. It was easy for the 
parish officers to be charitable at 
the expense of others; but their 
alms did not create the mutual 
good feeling which real charity 
begets. The amendment of the 
old law had proceeded, therefore, 
upon the principle that wages 
should be a just reward for labour ; 
and thereupon it was presently 
found that persons, before regarded 
as idle and worthless, became in* 
dustrious and useful. The wise 
principle was that of the act of the 
43rd of Elizabeth, which distin** 
guished the relief of destitution 
from the wages of work. To exe- 
cute the amendment of a system so 
essentially vicious, there was a 
necessity for assistant as well as 
for general commissioners. Lord 
Althorp had proposed to make the 
experiment under those commis« 
sioners for five years, but had not 
intimated that their office was ne« 
cessarily to determine at the end 
of that period. He should be de«> 
ceiving the house if he were to 
hold out that there was any inten- 
tion on the part of government to 
propose any considerable alteration 
or relaxation in the main prin- 
ciples of the existing sytem. 

Leave was given to bring in the 
bill on the 8th of February. The 
second reading being moved, a long 
and important debate took place. 

Mr. D'Israeli first rose to op« 
pose iti trusting that> as members 


bad been taunted witb a silence in 
the bouse unsuitable to tbeir de- 
clarations on tbe bustings^ tbe 
bouse would indulge him witb a 
bearing. It was impossible, be 
said, to conceive any revolution 
affecting more deeply than the 
poor-law tbe happiness of tbe 
people. Tbe parochial constitution 
of England had been destroyed for 
a mere pecuniary benefit, which, 
after all, bad not been obtained. 
The expenditure was now on the 
increase ; and we should soon have 
to pay, under a system of abuse, 
as much as was paid under the 
abrogated law. The statute of 
Elixabetb might be defective or 
obscure, but the new scheme of 
shutting up your pauper popula- 
tion in prisons was, upon the prin- 
ciples of human nature, impractic- 
able. He admitted that the con- 
trolling power under the new 
scheme must be central, but he 
thought it might also be local ; it 
might reside in the chief city of 
each district. In the bill he 
found not only unions, with the 
objections belonging to them) but 
unions of unions, with all these 
objections prc^rtionally increased. 
Here were powers to the commis- 
sioners quite without precedent ; 
centralization, after all, was a prin- 
ciple rather applicable to material 
than to moral government. A me- 
tropolitan control might be cheaper 
and more convenient than a pro- 
vincial one; it might make go- 
vernment strong and society weak, 
but be would rather have a strong 
society and a weak government. 
He was persuaded that the mea- 
sure had produced much disaffec- 
tion, and be would move that the 
present bill should be read a second 
time on that day six months. 

Mr. Wakley seconded tbisamend- 
wy&OkU He saidj that if the pria<* 

ciple of the bill were really Ibe 
establishment of a distinction be- 
tween vice and misfortune, no man 
would have objected to it ; but it 
bad been honestly explained tbat 
the bill bad no such ob1ect» that 
tbe object of it was merely to pre- 
vent the poor from starving. And 
this was cheered by tbe liberal side 
of the house ; such was tlie libe- 
rality of the reformed ministera 
and members 1 In tbe name of 
the poor and laborious people, he 
appealed to tbe great conservative 
party. Tbe landed gentlemen were 
the natural leaders of tbe people*--* 
to them the poor must look, not to 
the manufacturers, who wanted to 
lower the price of bread, knowing 
that wages must come down in 
propOTtion. The commissioners* on 
a hint no doubt from ministers, bad 
made a report, showing ingeniously 
the expediency of their receiving 
their salaries for ten years longer. 
They said the poor showed no gra- 
titude ; none was called for. Tbe 
poor had right, by law, to the re* 
lief they got, and owed no thanks 
for that. It had been matter of 
complaint that the poor-rate bad 
increased, but bad not population 
and property increased as largely ? 
In the ten years preceding tbe new 
poor law, the poor-rate had in- 
creased about one and a half per 
cent., the population about sixteen 
per cent. ; and the property* as 
appeared by the returns of tbe 
legacy-duty, had increased by tbe 
amount of between 6,000,000/. and 
7,000,000/. The new poor-law 
bad transferred the votes in tbe 
election of guardians from the oc- 
cupiers to the owners. This was 
done by a liberal government i but 
if tlus kind of liberality was still 
to guide them> the sooner they 
ceased to be a sovemment the 
better^ The pe(^e had come to 



eonaider the house and its prac- 
tices as adverse to them. The 
principle of this act was a base and 
ferocious one* tending to stimulate 
the bone and muscle of this coun- 
try to forcible resistance. He 
sketched the life of a man who, 
having toiled from fifteen to sixty, 
finds his strength decaying, and 
hia employers no longer willing to 
continue his accustomed wages. 
He applies for aid; he begs the 
guardians, rather than insist on 
his entering the poor-house> to let 
him have a little relief in his own 
cottage. They tell him that ihey 
would gladly do so, but that the 
commissioners forbid it ! We had 
been told that this law would raise 
wages» but it had not done so. 
How was it to raise wages? It 
could do so only by combinations 
among the working men against 
thdr employers. The impression 
of the peo{de was now« that par- 
Uainent wished to preclude all re- 
lief whatever, in the poor-house or 
out of it. In the Kensington 
union were 25,000 inhabitants, and 
onlv one relieving officer. St. 
Luke's had 40,000 inbalutants, and 
•only one olhcer and one assistant. 
He then specified some particular 
cases of abuse* Whatever the 
eroeltiefi or oppression committed 
in the poor-house, the pauper had 
no sgppeal, no redress; he could 
not go out to complain. By the 
inresent bill> the powers of the 
ooinHxis«Qners> already so great as 
to be driving every respectable man 
from the boards of guardians, were 
ta be made still greater, and the 
powers of the guardians still less. 
The guardians had not even power 
to alM>l a separate sleeping-room 
IQ «Q infirm old cmiple, without 
the leave of the Somerset-house 
4ainmissiii»ers^ He wondered that 
thfi gentkniett of Enf^ttftd would 

act under such a control ; indeed, 
he was sure they would not brook 
it, but for their desire to aid their 
poor neighbours. As to the al- 
leged reductico of the poov^s-rate, 
it was a delusion. Charges for- 
merly, paid from the poor*s-rate 
were now transferred to the county- 
rate ; and all that John Bull got, 
was to pay from his left-hand 
pocket instead of his right. 

Mr. G. Knight was not 8ur« 
prised that gentlemen inveighed 
against this law, for it was an easy 
road to popularity. He begged the 
house to remember the evils of the 
old system, and especially the pay- 
ment of wages out of rates. The 
enemies of the poor were not thosie 
who sought to raise their wages 
and habits, but those who deluded 
them with a false sympathy. Not 
only had a saving been effected, 
but the condition and comforts of 
the paupers themselves had been 
improved. As to the case sug- 
gested of a man forced into a pocHr- 
house at sixty, it was of no af^U- 
cation, for at sixty, the commis- 
sioners allowed out-docnr relief. 
Though this law proceeded from 
the whigs, he would not the less 
support it, being a good law ; for 
the question was too important to 
be decided upon party considerar- 

Mr. Buck would not concur 
with the absolute opponents of the 
bill, but he thought that some of- 
the clauses must be amended. He 
mentioned a case where a county 
magistrate had been summoned 
before an assistant commissioner 
under circumstances of unwarrant- 
able indignity. 

Mr. Munt^ disliked the law, for 
making no difference between the 
xespectable and the dissolute poor. 
He related a case d* an industrt- 
008 man tbiown out of emploj bj 


his master's failure, who had en* 
dured great privation rather than 
go into the, having heen 
told that he could not he admitted 
without selling off his goods, and 
heing apprehensive that he should 
not easily get a character on coming 
out again. There ought to he 
some distinction between rural dis- 
tricts and those great towns in 
which hundreds of people were 
sometimes thrown out of work at 
a blow. He would do his utmost 
to prevent the passing of this bill 
in Its present state. 

Mr. Liddell would oppose the 
bill, to record his disapprobation of 
the proposal for continuing the 
commissioners during ten years 
more. Such a continuance ap- 
peared to him little less than a 
perpetuity. His own experience 
was chiefly in a rural district, and 
he could not say he was aware of 
any improvement produced by the 
present syst6m, either in economy 
or in the condition of the poor. 
Even if there should not be a ma- 
jority against the second reading, 
he hoped the ten years' continuance 
clause would never be suffered to 
become law. 

Sir Robert Peel said, the two 
great questions were, the continu- 
ance of the experiment, and the 
centralization of the management. 
We were too apt to forget past 
evils, and to dwell only on the 
present. The state of things which 
preceded the present law was the 
ground of the course he took. He 
cited some evidence taken before a 
committee on agriculture, show- 
ing that in certain parishes, as the 
amount of money relief had in- 
creased, so had also the demoraliz- 
ation of the labouring classes. If 
the legislature thought that com- 
pulsion into the poor-house would 
rdieve the industrious man from 

the payment of rates to relieve his 
idler neighbour, and eventually 
raise the character of the idle 
themselves, surely the measure ' 
was justifiable, although individ- 
ual cases of hardship must occur. 
And he believed that even under 
the old system there were many 
hardships, which, as the districts 
were small and insulated, were not 
heard of, as abuses were now in the 
large unions, where so many peo- 
ple were assembled. After the great 
expense incurred (though expense 
was certainly a secondary consi- 
deration) he should not like to see 
the experiment abandoned, espe- 
cially as nothing was sug^ted in 
its room. It had been said there 
was no aggregate saving ; for that 
if there were less laid out in rates 
there was more laid out in wages. 
That was the very object ; it was 
thus that the poor had benefited 
from the poor-law. In supporting 
the principle of this bill he must, 
however, reserve to himself the 
right of questioning several of its 
clauses. He had great doubt, for 
instance, as to the expediency of 
the ten years' continuance. Five 
years, and then, if necessary, five 
years more, might be a safer ar- 
rangement. * Besides, a good deal 
must depend on the persona] dia- 
racter of the commissioners for the 
time being. He hoped, too, that 
the law would not be executed 
with strict rigidity ; and that, in 
matters of feeling, such as church- 
yard burials, there would be a due 
deference to the natural sentiments 
and wii>hes of the people. More- 
over, he thought there should be 
noencouragement tofurther unions. 
Indeed, he apprehended that the 
principle of these unions had al- 
ready been carried too far. 

Mr. T. Duncombe said, the pre^ 
sent system wanted amendm^t; 



but this bill coiitained nothing ex- 
cept aggravation. Sir Robert Peel 
had taken thought about the burial 
of the poor i he wished the house 
would respect the feelings of the 
poor while living. This measure 
went to repeal lul the local acts of 
parishes ; but the people of Eng- 
land would not submit to be dis- 
franchised at the will of three 
gentlemen in Somerset-house. The 
bill had been brought to its present 
stage with indecent haste. 

Mr. F. Maule said^ there had 
been quite sufficient time for its 
consideration^ inasmuch as it was 
almost the same with the bill of 
last year. Mr. Wakley had belied 
the poor ; they were not the per- 
sons who had disturbed the public 
peace by discontents ; nor had they 
shown any of that tendency to 
combination which he had enlarged 
upon. The present question was 
not a pecuniary one ; and even if 
it had increased^ instead of dimin- 
ishing the rates, he ii^ould not have 
grudged that additional cost. If the 
measure was to be carried on, it 
could be only by a central manage- 
ment. So little were the boards 
of guardians lit for the uncontrolled 
execution of the duty, that there 
was hardly any abuse of the old 
system of which some or other of 
those boards had not solicited the 

Sir £. KnatchbuU would not 
oppose the second reading, though 
he objected to many of the clauses, 
and wished for a good deal of re- 
laxation in its working. He in- 
stanced, from his own neighbour- 
hood, a class of recent cases where 
the distress had arisen solely from 
the continuance of severe weather, 
and where it would have been right 
that the guardians should possess 
a power to give out-door relief, 
from the impossibility that, during 

a frost, the poor, however willing 
to work, should obtain employ- 

Viscount Ho wick believed the act 
of 1834 to be one of the most bene- 
ficial measures ever passed, and 
rejoiced, therefore, that no one had 
gone so far as to propose the resto- 
ration of the old system, though 
he thought the adoption of Sir £. 
Knatchbuirs views would grad- 
ually bring that system back. Out- 
door relief given under pressure 
would be an example discouraging 
provident habits. It had been olu 
jected, that men would endure 
much suffering rather than enter 
the workhouse. That was the very 
thing desired. It threw them on 
their own efforts, and the efforts 
of their friends. It was only on 
the abandonment of those efforts, 
under the old system, that the cha- 
racter and condition of the English 
peasantry had decliped. He ap- 
proved the renewal of the term for 
ten years, in order to prevent agi- 
tation, by proving that there was 
no intention of giving way. Some 
difficulty would arise about the 
burials, because the poor-houses 
were generally in the neighbour- 
hood of large towns with crowd- 
ed church-yards, and the parish 
churches of many of the inmates 
were necessarily distant. 

Mr. Darby urged the importance 
of consulting the people's feelings 
on the subject of burials. He 
thought it an important security 
to the country to limit the term of 
renewal. It was an error to sup- 
pose that the new law restored the 
principle of the 43rd of Elizabeth ; 
if it had, there would not have 
been the present opposition to it. 
The workhouse was not really the 
fair test it was supposed to be, for 
an industrious man, attached to his 
home and family, would refuse it, 


when an idle one would take it. 
The true test between these two 
classes was to offer them hard 
work. Where a man had more 
children than he could maintain^ 
it was confiifitent with the statute 
of Eiieabeth that some of them 
should be supplied with work. 

Mr. Rice held it to be indispen- 
sable that the management should 
be in a central board. The most 
eastern part of Kent, where no out- 
door relief was giTen, was the dis» 
trict of the county where wages 
were highest. He should support 
the second readings in the hope, 
however^ that the bill would be 
amended in many particulars. 

Mr. W. Attwood obser?ed, that 
almost all the supporters of the 
second reading had made it a con« 
dition of their eventual support, 
that the bill gbould receive great 
alterations, of which the tone of 
its authors gave little reason to ex* 
pect the accomplishment. Hither- 
to the commissioners had wholly 
disregarded the suggestions made 
for the mitigation of their prac- 
tice ; and as every thing showed 
mitigation to be hopeless, he had 
no alternative but to oppose the 
second reading. 

Sir £• Filmer said, he would 
give no vote ; for he could not 
conscientiously support the second 
reading, and, on the other hand, he 
did not wish, by voting for the re- 
jection of the bill, to negative all 
alteration in the existing law. 

Mr. Langdale wished for a pro- 
vision, enaUing paupers of all de- 
nominations to attend their re- 
spective places of worship on Sun- 

Mr. James said, that in his 
county the original unpopularity 
of the poor Jaw bad almost dis- 
appeared, and the law was work- 
ing most beneficially. He wai 

favourable to this bill, though he 
did not like the separation of aged 

Mr. Fielden believed that the 
new poor-law tended not, as had 
been said, to raise wages, but rather 
to lower them, and he would op- 
pose this bill in every shape and cm 
every occasion. 

Lord John Russell contended that 
the new poor-law was founded on 
the principle of the statute of Eli sa* 
beth, which goes at once to relieve 
the old and infirm, but requires 
from the able-bodied a te$t to dis- 
tinguish whether they are willing 
to perform labour if it be found 
for them. The duke of Welling* 
ton had acted on this principle in 
allotting relief during a ikmnie ia 
India. It had been sud^ that Imd 
labour was a better test than the 
workhouse; but he thoi^t ex- 
perience was the other WBLy. Then 
came the question, whether the 
workhouse test would adnut anj 
considerable relaxation ; but there 
had been no suggestion ofiered 
which would not, in his opinion^ 
bring back the evils of the old 
system. Sir £. KnatchbuU had 
pleaded for outnloor relief in a sea* 
son of severe frost. If that were 
given this year, you must give it 
next year likewise, to such as might 
be destitute of work, though the 
weather should be less severe. 
Thus, step by step, the ancient 
evils would be brought back. The 
present law was for the benefit of 
industrious labourers, whose wel* 
fare the former system destroyed. 
Here he read some evidence to 
show what had been the misdiief 
of paying wages by rates, and how 
much those mischiefs were com- 
plained of by men who would fain 
have been industrious. He en- 
treated the house not to admit the 
recurrence of so injurious a state 



of things^ nor seek popularity by 
undenniiiing the independence of 
the labourers. He would not 
enter into detail ; but he should 
regret to see the period reduced 
from ten years to five. 

Upon a division, the motion was 
carried by a majority of 147> the 
numbers being — ayes,20] ;noes,54. 

Although the principle of the 
bill had been thus affirmed by a 
large majority in the house of 
commons, yet on several subse- 
quent occasions the attacks upon it 
were renewed by its opponents, 
among whom the most conspicuous 
were Mr. T. Duncombe, Mr. 
Wakley, Mr. Fielden, General 
Johnson, Mr. Attwood, and colo- 
nel Sibthorp. Upon the motion 
for the committal of the bill, Mr. 
Townley Parker moved, and Mr. 
Grimaditch seconded the motion, 
that it should be committed on 
that day six months; the com- 
mittal, however, was carried by a 
majority of 196. On this occasion 
some weighty obsa'vations were 
made by sir Robert Peel upon the 
language adopted by the commis- 
sioners in some of their public 
documents. He thought that, with 
the best intentions, there was oc- 
casionally a harshness displayed in 
the vindication of certain princi- 
ples, which might be avoided con- 
sistently with the maintenance of 
tiie law, and the avoidance of which 
would tend to fortify the powers 
of the commissioners. To give an 
illustration of this, he would take 
for instance an official circular 
published by the poor-law com- 
missioners; one of those public 
documents directed by the board 
to be printed chiefly for the use of 
the guardians. In one of those 
papers he found the following ex- 
pressions : — '* One principal object 
of a compulsory provisioa for the 

relief of destitution, is the preven- 
tion of almsgiving." Why, he heard 
the noble lord, lord John Russeli, 
himself say, that the poor-law 
would completely fail in effect if 
the affluent withheld their alms.' 
That was perfectly true ; and he 
should abominate the poor-law if 
he thought it relieved the rich 
from the duty of almsgiving. He 
was perfectly certain the poor-law 
would fail if the affluent, relying 
iipon its provisions alone, however 
improved the system of adminis- 
tration miffht be, felt that the mo- 
ral obligation on them to attend 
to the wants of th^ poorer neigh- 
bours, was thereby extinguished. 
It was no such thing. In point of 
fact, the relief of the poor must 
mainly depend on the rich and 
affluent ; and therefore it was un- 
wise in the commisnoners to issue 
a public document announcing 
that a principal object of a com- 
pulsory provision for the relief of 
destitution was the prevention of 
almsgiving. One object might be 
the prevention of mendicancy, or 
vagrancy, certcdnly not of alms- 
giving. It was a complete dese- 
cration of the precepts of the 
divine law — "Give alms to the 
poor ;" •* Turn not your face from 
the poor man.*' He only men- 
tioned this as an illustration of 
the great advantage and wisdom 
of weighing the expressions which 
might be used, so as not to give an 
impression of unnecessary harsh- 
ness. Indeed, he did thiak, with 
respect to the public documents 
put forth by the commissioners, 
independently of the use o>( parti- 
cular expressions, that their general 
tone and character might be im- 
proved consistently with the main- 
tenance of the principles of the 
law. He would not enter further 
into the matter at present 


" Upon another occasion observa- 
tions to a similar effect were made 
upon the tone held by the commis- 

Lord G. Somerset said^ that with 
sincere respect for the commis- 
sioners and their motives^ he 
must think that much of the un- 
popularity of the bill was owing 
to that harshness of style, and to 
that arrogance and assumption of 
infallibility which pervaded their 
documents and correspondence. 
They had interfered with every 
thing, whether properly within 
their sphere or not. The conse- 
quence was, that not only the 
lower orders^ but the community 
in general, had a strong feeling 
against them. 

Lord John Russell took credit to 
the government for their selection 
of the commissioners, which had 
been made without reference to 
political considerations; and ex- 
pressed his opinion that on the 
whole they had executed their 
office very judiciously. If they 
had erred in any thing, it was only 
in some assertions of a theoretical 
character introduced into their do- 
cuments. Arrogance was not a 
fault which they had deserved to 
be charged with. As well might 
he impute that fault to the noble 
lord, because he sometimes ex- 
pressed his opinions strongly in 
that house. It was not fair to 
shift any odium which the law 
might have generated upon ihe 
heads of the able and deserving 
persons employed to administer it. 

Viscount Sandon was willing to 
do justice to the private characters of 
the commissioners, but could not 
shut his eyes to the severe and 
overbearing language in which 
they were accustomed to address 
all persons questioning their opi- 
nions or authority, or complaining 

of any of their subordinates. They 
had always taken the niggardly, 
never the bountiful side. They 
had always protected their officers, 
never countenanced inquiry into 
facts. If they had made them- 
selves, as they ought to have done, 
mediators between the guardians 
and the poor, they would have 
been universally beloved ; but, in- 
stead of this, they had devoted 
themselves wholly to the enforce- 
ment of their own theory— the 
impracticable theory, that the law 
can make all men frugal, sober, 
and steady, and cause the poor to 
cease out of the land. 

After a great deal of discussion, 
the first dause, continuing the 
power of the commissioners for 
five years, was carried by a majo- 
rity of 166, the government having 
given up the longer period of ten 
years first proposed, in deference 
to the opinion expressed by sir 
Robert Peel and other members. 
An amendment moved by Mr. U. 
Hinde, restrictive of the powers of 
the commissioners was rejected by 
a large majority. 

The re-establishment of the 
powers of the commissioners being 
determined on, the bill proceeded 
through committee, being, how- 
ever, considerably delayed in its 
progress by a great variety of 
amendments, suggested by mem- 
bers on both sides of the house. 
To several of these amendments, 
not materially affecting the prin- 
ciple of the bill, lord John Russell, 
before they came on for discus- 
sion, announced the assent of the 
government. Two amendments 
which gave rise to discussions of 
considerable interest, deserve a 
short notice. The first of these, 
involving the question recently 
raised as to the right of the state 
to enforce compulsory education 



upon its members, according to 
tbe Prussian system, arose upon 
the 10th clause, which empowers 
the commissioners to combine uni- 
ons for the management of infant 
poor. It was moved by Mr. B. 
Wood upon this clause, that in 
order to authorise such a com- 
bination, the consent of a ma- 
jority of each board of guardians 
should be required. Mr. Goulburn 
and lord Stanley, supporting the 
amendment, objected to the prin- 
ciple of compulsorily removing the 
children of the poor from their 
families and local connections. 
They also observed, upon the ab- 
sence of any provision in the 
clause for the spiritual instruc- 
tion of the children, which, they 
urged, ought to be afforded them 
according to the religion of the 

Lord John Russell asserted the 
principle of compulsory instruc- 
tion. He insisted that parents, 
who, from necessity, threw their 
children on the state, had no right 
to prevent the state from giving 
them a useful and religious edu- 
cation. He objected to the ap- 
pointment of a chaplain of the 
church of England to be attached 
to these schools as a grievance upon 
the dissenters, who would be an- 
noyed at having a new tax levied 
for such a purpose. 

Mr. Slaney advocated the sys- 
tem of union schools in opposition 
to that of a workhouse education 
which must necessarily be an im. 
perfect one; but he wished that 
each school should be provided 
with a chaplain of the church of 

Sir R. Peel said he had come to 
the conclusion that the best mode 
of education for the children of 
the state was by the congregation 
of a great number in one school. 


He should cordially support the 
proposal for annexing a chaplain 
of the church of England to every 
school. To show the benefits of 
such an annexation, he read extracts 
from Dr. Kay's report. He would 
not leave to the casual inspection 
of clergy not connected with the 
school so important a duty as that 
of instructing the ignorant and 
perhaps vicious children admitted 
into the institution. He was not 
willing, however, to sanction the 
principle of compelling parents to 
part with their children. A severe 
frost might suspend the agricul- 
tural, labour of a man with a 
wife and six children, and force 
them into the workhouse. In two 
or three weeks the parents would 
get into employment again. Thus, 
if meanwhile the children had 
been sent to one of these distant 
schools, the parents would have 
become entitled to reclaim them 
after only a few days' sojourn 
there. If the children had not 
been sent thither, but kept in the 
workhouse for those few weeks, 
they would have been living for 
that time without any instruction 
at all, unless you had a double 
establishment — a workhouse in- 
struction as well as an instruction 
in the school. Nor did he think 
it quite clear that it was right 
compulsorily to take even an ille- 
gitimate child from a mother to 
whom perhaps it was the only con- 
solation, and who, though seduced, 
might not be vicious. With pro- 
per modifications he would support 
the clause. 

Mr. Langdale objected to the 
doctrine that the state was to edu- 
cate every child adopted by it in 
the state religion, without regard 
to the religious creed of the 
parents. He spoke with reference 
to the Roman catholic body to, 


which he himself belonged, and he 
could scarcely believe that he had 
rishtly understood the expressions 
of sir R. Peel. 

Sir R. Peel explained, that if 
both or either of the parents ob- 
jected to the child's instruction in 
the religion of the state, he did 
not desire to force that religion on 
that child. 

A division took place on Mr. B. 
Wood's amendment, which was 
carried against ministers. 

Mr. Colquhoun then moved an 
amendment upon the same clause, 
providing for the annexation to 
each union school of a chaplain 
belonging to the church of Eng- 
land, with liberty to those children 
whose parents, or whose sponsors 
after the parents* death, should 
disapprove the church doctrines, to 
be attended by other religious 
teachers. The words " natural 
guardians of the child," were after- 
wards, at the suggestion of vis- 
count Sandon, substituted for " the 

Mr. Hawes and Mr. Ward, on 
behalf of the dissenters, opposed 
the proposition, and lord John 
Russell at first objected to it, but 
afterwards upon the terms of some 
slight alteration acceded to the 
clause as amended, which was 
affirmed upon a division. 

It was justly observed at the 
time, that this amendment of Mr. 
Colquhoun's, although apparently 
sanctioning a principle favourable 
to the church, in reality by no 
means involved any concession on 
the part of those who represented 
the dissenting interest, since the 
clause, expressly provided, that in 
the event of the parents or natural 
guardians of the children objecting 
to the doctrines of the church, a 
minister of their own persuasion 
should be appointed and should 

receive such salary aa the poor-law 
commissioners should decide. The 
practical effect of this amendment 
if it had afterwards becone law, 
would, it is obvious, have actually 
carried the recognition of dissent 
by the state somewhat further 
than has been hitherto thought 
consistent with the principle c^ an 
exclusive religious establi^ment, 
since under its regulations, upon 
the mere expression of an opinion 
on the part of the parents or guar- 
dians of children, the oommis- 
sioners would have been not only 
empowered, but required, to ap- 
point an unlimited number of 
salaried dissenting chaplains to 
every district school. Such a con- 
sequence was perhaps hardly at- 
tended to, as it was not distinctly 
pointed out during the discus- 
sion, or it is probable that many 
members of the house would 
have objected to the unquestion- 
ably large concession which it in- 

It would be tedious and useless, 
considering the fate which this 
bill eventually met with, to pursue 
the history of its discussion upon 
the several clauses, which occupied 
a large portion of the time of the 
house of commons during this 
session. Our object has mainly 
been in this account of the pro- 
gress of a measure which ulti- 
mately proved abortive, to illus- 
trate the state of feeling and 
opinion prevalent in the house 
respecting that most important 
alteration in the laws affecting the 
poor, which had been recently in- 
troduced. To enter further into 
detail would be superfluous* as 
this measure, after undergoing so 
much discussion, finally shared the 
fate of several other important 
measures, as we shall have ocoa- 
sion to relate whan we come to 



the transactions which immediately 
preceded the dissolution of par- 

It would be improper to con- 
clude our account of the transac- 
tions relating to the poor-law in 
this session, without some notice 
of the lemarkable jesult of an 
election of a member for the town 
of Nottingham^ which took place 
in the latter part of April. Not- 
tingham had for thirty years been 
a stronghold of the liberal party ; 
and the chances of a Conservative 
candidate would have seemed un- 
der ordinary circumstances to be 
very small. Upon the death of 
sir Ronald Ferguson, however, Mr. 
Walter, formerly M.P. for Berk- 
shire, and well known as a principal 
proprietor of the Times newspaper, 
announced himself as a candidate. 
—The politics of this gentleman 
were well known to be strongly 
Conservative, and he was opposed 
by Mr. Larpent on the whig side ; 
but throwing aside all other ques- 
tions, Mr. Walter boldly took his 
stand upon the ground of an un- 
compromising hostility to the new 
poor-law, and so successfully did 
he appeal to the feelings of the 
electors that, by inducing them to 
merge all other differences in a 
cordial sympathy on this one ques- 
tion, he was returned by a majoiity 
of 236 over his liberal opponent. 
This result produced a great im- 
pression at the time throughout 
the country, and tended much to 
animate the zeal of the enemies of 
the obnoxious law. That the effect 
was owing entirely to a temporary 
junction of opposite political in- 
terests was clearly evinced by the 
very different result of the contest 
which followed upon the general 
election, when Mr. Walter was 
left far behind his former unsuc- 
.cessful opponent on the poll. The 

warmth of feeling on the subject 
of the poor-law had apparently 
by that time subsided or given 
way to the pressure of other 
questions of still more exciting 

The annual report published by 
the poor-law commissioners for the 
year 1841, contains an account of 
the progress which had been made 
in carrying that measure into 
effect in Ireland, They state that 
the total number of unions which 
had been declared was 127, and 
that only three more remained to 
be formed, which would make the 
total number required. Great 
progress had been made in build- 
ing the necessary workhouses, 
fourteen of which, at the date of 
this report had been completed 
and opened for the paupers. Of 
course, the system had not been 
sufficiently long in operation to 
warrant the commissioners in ex- 
pressing a decided opinion respect- 
ing its working and effect, yet they 
state that their experience, so far 
as it enabled them to judge, 
afforded good hopes of the re- 
sults of the measure, and that it 
would produce very important 
indirect benefits to the several 

A protracted enquiry took place 
in the house of lords, in the 
early part of the session, respect- 
ing the falsification of certain 
returns from the office of the 
poor-law commissioners in Ireland, 
relative to the election of a re- 
turning officer for the Clonmel 
union. The subject was brought 
before the house by the earl of 
Glengall, and Mr. Nicholls, one of 
the poor-law commissioners, and 
several of the assistant-commis- 
sioners, were examined before the 
house. The result of the enquiry 
was to fix the misconduct upon 
CD 2] 


Mr. William Stanley^ the secretary Stanley having resigned his o£Bce, 

of the poor-law commissioners, and heing stated to be in a very 

The conduct of this gentleman was weak state of health, the house 

affirmed, upon a resolution moved agreed to waive further proceed- 

by the earl of Glengall, to be a ings against him. 
contempt of the houses but Mr. 




Affairs of Ireland, Registration of Voters — Lord Stanley revives his 
measure of IS40 for Reform of Registration '-Motion for leave to bring 
in the Bill — Speeches of Lord Stanley and Lord Morpetk^^Mr. 
C Connell moves adjournment — It is negatived by 261 to 71 — Lord 
Morpeth introduces a Bill on the same subject — 7/^ hading pro- 
visions — Definition and extension of the elective Franchise proposed 
by it — Feeling of different parties in the House on the occasion — 
Speech of Lord Howick — Debate on second reading of Lord Mor- 
peth's Bill — Severe denunciation of the ministerial tactics by Lord 
Stanley — Mr, C, Wood supports the Bill — Debate continued fm* four 
successive nights — Speeches of Sir W, Follett and Mr, C Bullcr — 
Allusion of the latter to our Foreign Relations — Vienj of the Bill 
taken by Mr, Slaney — Exposition by Sir J, Graham of the progress 
of ministerial concessions to the Repeal party — Speeches of Mr. 
O* Connell, Sir R. Peel, and Lord J, Russell — Second Reading car- 
ried by a majority of 5 — Postponement of Committee on the Bill — 
Severe remarks thereon by Lord Stanley — Language of Mr, 0* Con- 
nell, and of the Irish Press, on the Registration question — Lord 
Stanley's Bill postponed — Alteration in the ministerial Bill announced 
by Lord Morpeth — House goes into Committee — Lord Howick moves 
an amendment on the first clause — It is opposed by Lord Morpeth — 
Speeches of Mn C* Wood, Lord Stanley, Mr, O^Connell, Lord John 
Russell, and Sir R, Peel — Amendment carried by 291 to 270 — Ad- 
journment of the House — Statement of Lord John Russell on 28th 
April'^He acquiesces in Lord Howick* s Amendment — Statement of 
Jjord Howick — Debate thereupon — Altercation of Mr, Ward and 
Mr, Hume — Various divisions on a;mendments and other motions-^ 
Curious confusion of the debate^ terminating in a majority against 
the Government ofll^^Lord John Russell throws up the Bill — Re- 
marks of Sir R, Peel — Rejlections on the effect (f the preceding 
transactions upon the clmracter and prospects of the Government. 

THE proceedings in the house 
of commons upon the subject 
of the registration of voters in Ire- 
land^ which occupied a consider- 
able portion of the session of 1840, 
but terminated without any legis- 
lative result) will be found recorded 

at some length in the preceding 
volume. A reference to them will 
show^ that when lord Stanley 
found himself at length compelled, 
by the incessant and systematic 
opposition of the ministerial party, 
to give up his attempt to carry his 


bill through the house, he de- 
clared his determination to intro- 
duce a similar bill at so early a 
period in the next session as would 
enable him, in spite of such at- 
tempts as had hitherto proved too 
successful to thwart his object by 
delay, to carry it into a law, which 
might come into operation no later 
than was proposed by the original 
bill. In pursuance of this pledge, 
lord Stanley, on the first day of 
the present session, gave notice of 
a motion for leave to bring in a 
bill to amend the laws relating to 
registration in Ireland. The go- 
vern tnent, however, had this time 
adopted another plan for defeating 
the measure. A rival plan was 
prepared, to be submitted to the 
preference of the house. The no- 
tice of lord Stanley was followed 
by one from viscount Morpeth, but 
it was announced that the ministe- 
rial bill was to include that object, 
the omission of which had been 
made so strong a ground of objec- 
tion to lord Stanley's — namely, a 
definition of the qualification for 
the franchise. The motion for 
leave to introduce lord Stanley's 
bill was fixed for the 3rd of Feb- 
ruary — for that of the ministers, 
two days later. On the former day, 
lord Stanley opened his plan to the 
house. He said, he did not coti- 
ceive it would be needful for him 
to trespass at any length on the 
attention of the house, since the 
bill which he had now to propose 
was founded on the same principle, 
and embodied nearly the satne pro- 
visions, as that which last year he 
had introduced, which was then eo 
tnuch discussed, which was affirmed 
by the house on the second read- 
ing, and, but for the delay which 
had arisen, would now have been 
law. The abuses of the registra- 
tion system were universally ad- 

mitted, and a remedy was abso- 
lutely necessary. He would briefly 
point out the main provisions which 
he intended to apply to these evils. 
First, the abolition of certificates 
as evidence of the right of voting, 
and the substitution of annual re- 
gistration, on the English system ; 
together with a public notice, simi- 
lar to that required in England, on 
the part of the person seeking to 
establish his claim to the fhincnise. 
Also, to appoint other places be- 
sides the quarter-sessions toWndfor 
the work of registrsitiou. Which 
should form th& btisitiess df a se- 
parate circuit. The next altera- 
tion related to the appeal from the 
decision of the assistant-banisters. 
At present the sole retiiedy wa6 by 
resort to that universally-depre- 
cated tribunal — a cotutnittee of 
the house of commohs. If this re- 
medy were taken aWay, some Other 
mode of appeal must be supplied. 
He had sought in Vain to find any 
more free ftom objection than that 
which he had proposed last Ses- 
sion, namely, the appeal to a judge 
of assize, to whom also he meant 
to give a discretion in awarding 
limited costs iti cftses of frivolous 
or vexatious *appeal* He wotild^ 
however, introduce a provision to 
obviate all objectioii to this pari of 
the bill, to exempt from costs, in 
all cases, the party coming fotWard 
to support the decision of the 
court below. There had been an 
associatioil formed since the bill of 
last year was discussed, having for 
its object the itivestigation of the 
registration question, the estab- 
lishment of objections to his (l(^ 
Stanley's) bill, and the support of 
the government views on the sub- 
ject. He wished to avoid all irrt- 
tatitig topics in this discusdoni and 
Would speak with all respect of 
that association> but he was molt 



anxious to show to the house that« 
on the main grounds on which his 
measure had heen so vehemently 
attacked last year, he had the full 
concurrence of the Ulster associa- 
tion. These points were, the abo- 
lition of certificates, the registration 
before the assistant-barrister, and 
the formation of a court of appeal, 
in lieu of a committee of the house 
of commons, with the power of 
awarding costs in certain cases. 
Such were thepoints of agreement ; 
— what, then, were the points of 
difference ? The first was, whether 
the registration should be annual 
or quarterly. He had formed a 
strong opinion that it ought to be 
annual, and a majority of the house 
last year had pronounced that opi- 
nion. In the next place, as to 
costs : — the Ulster association pro- 
posed that costs should never in 
any case be given as against the 
claimant, but that they should be 
given as against the objector in all 
cases in which he failed to establish 
his objection. He proposed, on the 
other hand, that as against either 
party costs, never to exceed 51., 
should be given where either claim 
or objection was frivolous or vex- 
atious. This proposition he could 
not but think was the more equit- 
able of the two. An amendment 
had been proposed by the attorney- 
general for Ireland, to the first 
clause of the former bill, and car- 
ried by a small majority, the effect 
of which would be to make the 
name of the voter, once placed 
on the register, for ever after im- 
moveable, except for disqualifica- 
tion subsequently arising, however 
originally destitute of qualification 
or right he might have been. All 
such votes would be swept away, 
if the right of objection were made 
annual, as in England ; but he did 
not psopoBe to go so far as this. 

For the sake of protecting the 
voter who was once on the register, 
he would propose that he should 
remain on for life, unless the ob- 
jector could establish an absolute 
disqualification against him, such 
objector, in the event of failing to 
do so, being liable to costs. W ith 
respect to persons who should have 
obtained certificates, he was willing 
to concede that they might remain 
on the register without question 
so long as their certificate had to 
run. On another point he was 
prepared to remove an objection 
which had been urged against his 
bill. In the form of notice of ob- 
jection to be served on the voter, 
he was wiUing to propose that the 
grounds of the objection should be 
formally specified. He had now 
referred to all the points of differ- 
ence which existed between his 
plan and that of the Ulster liberal 
association. He would now advert 
to a point not included in the bill ; 
but Mr.O'Connell had given notice 
of an intention to move the ad- 
journment of the house, unless he 
(lord Stanley) introduced into his 
bill a clause for the purpose of de- 
fining the franchise. He would 
now, therefore, distinctly state his 
intention to introduce no such 
clause. He saw clearly that if he 
wished to carry this bill, or to 
carry any bill, he must separate 
the two objects. The propriety of 
this course had been affirmed by a 
large majority of the house last 
year, upon a motion made by Mr. 
O'Connell himself for combining 
the two questions; and many 
members of the government had 
then voted with him (lord Stan- 
ley) against coupling the question 
of franchise with that of registra- 
tion. He admitted the difficulties 
arising from the division of opi- 
nion among the judges on the 


question of franchise^ but be felt 
convinced tbat if be attempted to 
settle that question by the present 
bill, the attempt would fail, the 
session would pass away before 
any tbing was done, and the 
abuses of the registration would 
be prolonged for another year. In 
conclusion, lord Stanley said, he 
wished to discuss the provisions of 
this bill in the most friendly tem- 
per and spirit; he would respect 
the arguments of such as should 
oppose bis views ; and be would 
readily bow to the decision of the 
bouse on any points not involving 
the principles of bis measure. 

Viscount Morpeth said, that be 
bad no intention of opposing lord 
Stanley's introducing bis bill. He 
observed, however, that its main 
features remained the same as last 
year. He bad already given notice, 
on tbe part of the government, of 
a bill which they meant to intro- 
duce on tbe next day but one fol- 
lowing, and in tbat bill it was his 
intention to ask the bouse to con- 
cur in determining the qualification, 
as well as the mode of registering 
the voter. He was sure that no 
measure, having tbe latter object 
in view, could be complete or satis- 
factory without a concomitant de- 
finition of the franchise. 

Mr. 0*Connell delivered an angry 
and bitter speech against lord Stan- 
ley, in which, bowever, be evaded 
discussing the grounds upon which 
the bill was introduced, and, con- 
trasting tbe population of some of 
the Irish counties with tbe number 
of votes on tbe registers, and the 
relative proportion of voters to tbe 
entire population in Ireland and 
England, inquired whether the 
noble lord grudged so small a num- 
ber of voters to so large a popula- 
tion as that. Was this the enor- 
mous multiplication of fraudulent 

voters complained of? Was thin 
an union between tbe two coun- 
tries ? He tbougbt tbat lord Stan- 
ley ought not to be allowed to 
introduce his bill before tbat of 
the government was laid before 
the house. The noble lord's object 
was, not to amend the registration, 
but to give a deatb-blow to the 
liberties of Ireland. He (Mr. 
0*Connell) would meet bim foot 
to foot ; and be now moved that 
this debate be adjourned till after 
tbe 4tb instant, when tbe govern- 
ment measure would come on. 

Lord John Russell said, that his 
objections to tbe measure of last 
year were very little diminished 
by lord Stanley's present state- 
ment. He could not but view 
with much jealousy and alarm a 
measure to reform abuses in the 
registration, which was to act en- 
tirely by way of restriction. The 
bill proposed to retain the franchise 
as it existed according to law, but 
also proposed tbat thai franchise 
should be ultimately determined 
by a court of law. He must say, 
without any imputation of undue 
bias to tbe judges, tbat tbe general 
tendency of courts of law was to 
restrict the franchise by technical 
definitions and distinctions. Now, 
if parliament were to pass a bill 
by which the whole franchise 
would be left to tbe decision of the 
courts of law, be could easily ima- 
gine tbat, in no long time, the 
effect would be its ultimate limi- 
tation to a very small number of 
persons. They should be very 
careful tbat, in raising up a barrier 
against the fraudulent voter, they 
did not throw obstacles in the way 
of rightful claims to tbe franchise. 
He could easily imagine cases in 
which parties possessing goodriffht 
to the franchise might be so ha- 
rassed by the trouble^ expeosei and 



difficulties to be incurred in main- 
taining their votes^ when repeat- 
edly objected to, as to prefer 
abandoning their claims altogether^ 
and thereby to throw discourage- 
ment upon others similarly cir. 
cumstanced. On the whole, he 
believed it would be impossible to 
settle this question thoroughly, and 
with any satisfaction to the people 
of Ireland, without including the 
consideration of the franchise in 
any measure proposed for reform- 
ing the registration. He could 
not, however, deny, that the noble 
lord was quite justified in the 
course he had that night taken ; 
and after the sanction given by 
the house last year to the general 
principleof the measure, he thought 
there was no parliamentary ground 
for refusing leave to bring in the 
bill, and he should vote for the 
motion. A division then took place 
o|i Mr. O'Connell's motion of ad- 
journment — Ayes 71 ; Noes 261 
—Majority 190. 

Two days afterwards the go- 
vernment bill for the same object 
was brought into the house of com- 
mons by viscount Morpeth. The 
main features of the plan, so far as 
it related to the registration of 
voters were> to abolish certificates, 
to make the register conclusive of 
the right to vote, except where dis- 
qualification by matter subse- 
quent appeared, to establish an 
annual revision of the registers, 
and to give a right of appeal, 
equally to the claimant and the 
objector. The main point of dif- 
ference between this bill and lord 
Stanley's, consisted in the tribunal 
to whom the appeal was to be 
made. The government proposed, 
for this purpose, the erection of a 
new court, consisting of three bar- 
ritters of certain standing, whose 
appointment was to be vested in 

the speaker of the house of com- 
mons. Such was the plan pro- 
posed, as regarded the subject of 
registration, but by far the more 
important object of the bill, and 
the vital difference by which its 
authors sought to get the prefer- 
ence for it over lord Stanley's, was 
the addition of a set of provisions 
intended nominally to define, but 
really to alter and place upon an 
entirely new footing the elective 
franchise of this part of the king- 
dom. Adopting as his warrant 
the uncertainty and diversity of opi- 
nion which prevailed respecting the 
construction of the franchise con- 
ferred by the Reform Act, viscount 
Morpeth declared the intention of 
the government to settle the ques- 
tion by adopting an entirely new 
basis, fixed and ascertained, exempt 
from tendency to fraud, and car- 
rying its own check against abuse 
along with it, viz. : the valuation 
under the new Poor-law Act. As 
however, from the mode in which 
that valuation had been taken, and 
the scale on which it had been 
formed, the effect of its application, 
according to the existing standard 
of the franchise, would be very 
much to diminish the numbers of 
the electoral body, and as in any 
measure proposed for settling the 
franchise, it would hardly be sup- 
posed government would propose 
to cut it down ; the bill proposed 
to enact that every occupier of a 
tenement under a holding of not 
less than fourteen years of the 
annual value of 5/., according to 
the valuation under the Poor-law 
Act, should have the same right of 
voting previously enjoyed by per*- 
sons having a beneficial interest to 
the amount of 10/. 

Considerable surprise and some 
indignation were expressed by 
members on the Conservative sidei 


at this explanation of the tactics of 
the ministers. They complained 
of the unfairness of thus introduc- 
ing by surprise and without any 
notice, a fundamental alteration 
in the elective franchise of Ireland, 
founded upon principles unknown 
both in England and Scotland. 
It was represented as a new reform 
bill for Ireland, tacked on as a 
postscript to a bill for amending 
the registration. The 51 , fran- 
chise, it was said, would be little 
short in effect of the introduction 
of universal suffrage. On the 
other hand, Mr. O'Connell and 
some of his partisans loudly ex- 
pressed their satisfaction at the 
proposed measure, which they de- 
clared, if accepted by the house, 
would convince the people of Ire- 
land of its friendly disposition 
towards them. 

Viscount Howick, who in the 
last session had signalised himself 
by voting in favour of lord Stanley's 
measure against his own party, 
declared his intention of support- 
ing a measure, which gave to Ire- 
land that extension of the suffrage 
which he thought her interests 
and the principles of liberty re- 
quired, though he had felt bound 
last year to give his concurrence 
to a measure which was intended 
to prevent the law, as it then ex* 
isted, from being defeated by 
illegal means. He said, that his 
object in Voting for lord Stanley's 
bill last year, was not to restrict 
the franchise, on the contrary, 
he had then declared his anxiety 
to amend its defects, and he now 
gladly concurred in the plan which 
was proposed for that purpose. 

On the 22nd of February, vis- 
count Morpeth having moved the 
second reading of his bill, lord Stan- 
ley rose : he said, that but for the 
annexation to a bill, purporting to 

have in view the amendmeot of 
the registration, of a postscript 
which tended to alter the repre- 
sentative system settled so recently 
as 1832, he might have suffered 
the second reading to pass un* 
opposed, since the points, upon 
which his measure and that of the 
government differed with respect 
to the subject of registration, were 
no longer either numerous or im- 
portant. They had conceded an 
annual revision of voters, and 
they had consented to give an 
appeal against claimants admitted 
as well as in favour of claimants 
rejected. The tribunal of ap- 
peal proposed by viscount Mar« 
peth was different to that pro- 
posed by himself. To the prin- 
ciple of vesting the appouitment 
of the barristers, constituting the 
court of appeal, in the speaker 
he was decidedly opposed, being 
convinced that such a duty, how- 
ever impartially performed, would 
be sure to subject the speaker to 
misrepresentation and imputations 
which ought never to be cast upon 
the person who might fill that 
chair. The principle of giving 
costs against claimants, which was 
one of the strongest objections to 
his (lord Stanley's) bill last year 
was now affirmed in viscount Mor- 
peth's bill, and without the same 
restrictions which he had proposed. 
He had now merely stated the 
points of difference between the 
two bills — he had not argued upon 
them, for he wished to proceed to 
another and far more important 
branch of the measure— the iack 
which had been affixed to the bill 
-—with what intention he did not 
presume to say, but which would 
have the effect, unless he was 
much mistaken, of defeating the 
attempt on both sides of the house 
to amend the evils of the existing 



registry. Without meaning any 
disreis^iect to Tiscotint Morpeth, he 
must WAj that his first, and not his 
smallest objection to the bill, was, 
that it had been introduced under 
false colours and upon false pre- 
tences. He saw in this bill ano^ 
ther step in that line of policy 
which had been so peculiar to the 
present administration, which they 
had pursued from the first moment 
of their existence until now. Upon 
this principle they had acted in 
1885 when they refused to con^ 
sent to sir Robert Peel's bill for 
the settlement of the tithe ques- 
tion in Itelandi unless he would 
affix a tack to that measure which 
they then declared was a sine 
quA non to the settlement of 
the question. Yet, this very sine 
qud non they had afterwards aban* 
boned. Such was the policy with 
which they acted> not with the 
view of achieving any practical 
result, but for the sake of enabling 
themselves to maintain for a few 
years a struggling existence, and 
delude a portion of their supporters 
with the plausible semblance of 
concessions. In the last session, 
i^r the house had afEtmed the 
principle of his bill, a determined 
opposition was taken to it on the 
ground that it contained no defi- 
nition of the franchise. The soli- 
citor-general for Ireland had then 
introduced a bill which contained 
a clause to define the franchise^ and 
now the noble viscount had aban- 
doned that definition altogether, 
and on the most meagre statement 
he had ever heard from a cabinet 
minister^ had proposed in the pre- 
Bent bill) not a definition, but a 
total alteration of the franchise of 
Ireland. When in 1839 Mr. 
0*Connell moved for leave to bring 
in a \Al\ to assimilate the franchise 
in Great Brittdn and Ireland^ the 

noble viscount had opposed the mo* 
tion on the ground that it was not 
right to interfere with arrange- 
ments which had been settled by 
statutes of so recent a date* This 
declaration to adhere to the prin- 
ciples of the reform act was made 
in 1839, repeated in 1840, and 
repudiated in 1841. Whence had 
these new impressions on the noble 
viscount's mind been derived ? 
Lord Stanley here quoted an extract 
from a speech made by Mr. O'Con- 
nell in 1839, in which the propo- 
sition of establishing a 5/. franchise 
in Ireland, as being equivalent to 
the 10/. franchise in England, had 
been made. By the bill before 
the house^ continued lord Stanley^ 
it was proposed to introduce a class 
of voters, who had less interest, 
were more dependent, more sub- 
ject to infiuence, more numerous, 
and in every respect inferior to the 
disfranchised 40^. freeholders. If 
the noble viscount intended to give 
a more extended franchise to Ire* 
land than was enjoyed by England 
or Scotland, he ought plainly to 
state to the house the grounds on 
which he vindicated this intention. 
With respect to the basis proposed 
for the new franchise, he did not 
mean to deny, that a fair and im- 
partial valuation for the purpose 
of taxation, might be of important 
service in affording a test of the 
elective right; but the valuation 
now going on under the new poor 
law did not possess those requisites 
of impartiality, uniformity, and 
absence of political infiuence, which 
could alone make it serviceable 
for this purpose. That valuation 
was now going on, and what could 
be more certidn to taint and pre- 
judice it than the fact of its being 
intended to constitute the test of 
political privileges? The Reports 
on which viscount Morpeth had 


based his measure showed plainly 
that the valuations in the different 
unions had been made upon no 
principle of uniformity^ the valu- 
ators having utterly set at nought 
all the directions of the Act. 
He would admit what viscount 
Morpeth had stated to be true- 
that the valuation would be in all 
cases below the real value, but 
should the real value of the pro- 
perty rated at 5/. be 10/., or even 
15/., it would not diminish his 
objection to the principle of the 
bill. The valuation wanted the 
principle of uniformity and cor- 
rectness so completely that he 
could never consent to take it as 
the basis of the franchise ; but 
even supposing it were accurate, 
still he objected to a principle 
never before introduced into any 
other bill — that the franchise was 
to be given according to the rent 
that was charged, and not accord- 
ing to the amount or value of pro- 
perty possessed by the voter. As 
to the probable amount to which 
the franchise would be extended 
by adopting the 5/. standard, the 
house had no information at all, but 
the noble viscount, following Mr. 
O'Connell's mode of argument, 
had compared the present number 
of voters with the entire population 
of various counties, and again con- 
trasted these witb certain counties 
in England. Now he repudiated 
that argument altogether as a basis 
for the alteration of tbe franchise. 
Was there ever such a principle 
laid down as that there should be 
a certain proportion between the 
population and the constituency, 
by which the constituent amount 
of qualification should be deter- 
mined ? 

Lord Stanley then proceeded 
to an examination df the causes 
whidi would account for the small 

proportion of voters in Ireland, 
arising out of the agricultural state 
of that country, the land being sub- 
divided in the hands of a vast num- 
ber of small holders, and landlords 
being generally averse to grant 
qualifying leases in consequence of 
the political condition of toe coun- 
try, and the influence exercised 
upon tenants to set themselves in 
opposition to their landlord's poli- 
tical views. He regretted that 
such a state of things should exist, 
and should lead to a diminution of 
the constituency, and if it were 
shown him that such a course had 
produced the result of placing the 
Irish representation in the hands 
of a few monopolists, in opposition 
to the principles of the Reform Act, 
he would be ready to join in mea- 
sures for remedying such an evil. 
But the existence of such a griev- 
ance must first be satisfactorily 
proved. Now, upon the evidence 
of papers which were before the 
house, it appeared that the county 
constituency of Ireland had in- 
creased in ten counties out of 
twelve, that the amount of the net 
increase since 1835 was 10,419, 
and that since 1832 it had in- 
creased more than cent, per cent. 
With respect to the borough con- 
stituency, in almost every borough 
there had been an increase since 
1835. Making full deductions 
for double registrations and for 
fictitious votes, still these re- 
turns proved a very large increase. 
Finally, he asked for a reason why 
the household franchise should he 
lowered from 10/. to 51. ? Why 
introduce in Ireland a qualification 
wholly different from that of Eng- 
land or Scotland? It would be 
giving the franchise to a class of 
persons infinitely below the Eng* 
lish day-labourer, in education and 
habits; to men whom their land* 



lonl would expel from house and 
home 80 soon as they should ex- 
ercise the franchise in a manner 
opposed to his wishes. In con- 
clusion, he said he did not press 
upon the house on this occasion, 
because it was^an argument which 
would immediately suggest itself 
to the minds of all who heard him, 
how impossible it would be to 
grant this extension of the fran- 
chise to Ireland and to withhold 
the same boon from England and 
Scotland. The noble lord con- 
cluded by declaring that even if 
he stood alone, he would oppose 
this bill. 

In the brief summary to which 
we are necessarily limited, it is 
imposdble to give more than an 
imperfect outline of lord Stanley's 
speech, which was of unusual 
length, but at the same time of 
uncommon ability. A more search- 
ing and masterly dissection of a 
political measure has not often 
been presented to the house of 
commons. The tone, at the same 
time, though earnest and severe, 
was temperate, and free from any- 
thing like asperity or irritation. 
Lord Stanley was followed by Mr. 
C. Wood^ who in the preceding 
session had pursued the same line 
with viscount Howick, in support- 
ing lord Stanley's bill. He now, 
however, like viscount Howick, 
declared his intention of voting 
with his former friends in favour 
of viscount Morpeth's measure. 

After speeches from Mr. Litton, 
Mr. Fitzpatrick; and Mr. Lucas, vis- 
count Morpeth addressed the house. 
He began by retorting on lord 
Stanley the charge of excitement 
and disturbance. Lord Stanley 
had said the rating clause was but 
a tack and a postscript : for him- 
self, he regarded it as the preface, 
nay, as part of the text itself, a 

main part too, and one without 
which the rest would have no 
chance of being brought to a satis- 
factory issue. Ministers were 
taunted with an excessive par- 
tiality to Ireland, but it should 
be remembered that these 4Qg, 
freeholders had not, as in England, 
the right to vote. They were 
disfranchised to the number of 
191,000 at the time of the Roman 
Catholic Relief Act. He insisted, 
on the authority of Mr. Lucas and 
Sir D. Norreys, as favourable to 
the principle of the rating test; 
and as to the amount, that ques- 
tion was for the committee. He 
should rather have waited till the 
experiment of the poor-law had 
been further ripened, but lord 
Stanley's attempt at legislation 
had forced the government for- 
ward. It had become necessary to 
take some step, for almost all the 
litigation, whether in the regis, 
tration courts or before committees 
of the house, now turned upon 
questions of value ; and the Irish 
bench themselves were divided in 
opinion. Lord Stanley's bill, 
while it would get rid of dishonest 
claimants, would be still more 
likely to drive away quiet and 
well-disposed persons. The poor- 
law rating, on the contrary, com* 
bined most of the advantages of a 
test; though certainly it would 
not be an exact measure for each 
particular case. The question of 
amount belonged more properly to 
the committee than to the second 
reading ; but he would not shrink 
from dealing with it now. The 
government, on looking into the 
facts, were satisfied that even a 5/. 
net rating would exclude many 
voters of the kind which the Re- 
form Act meant to admit, and they 
considered that, by fixing the 
amount at a 5/. gross rating, they 


were adopting a test, which per. 
haps might be called a liberal, but 
Dot an inordinate one. The docu- 
ment which lord Stanley had re- 
lied on, as shewing an existing 
constituency of 91,000 voters, had 
been made out before the regis- 
tration of last autumn, at which 
time all franchises registered in 
1832 would have expired, unless 
previously renewed: but at all 
events there would soon be a new 
return, giving the actual numbers 
at the present time. Towns as 
well as counties were included 
in this arrangement, for it was 
thought desirable to take the op- 
portunity of settling the whole 
subject at the same time. He 
▼indicated the provision for quar- 
terly registration, and the restric- 
tion upon appeals touching matters 
c£ fact He trusted that the 
house, in choosing between the 
two bills, would act in the spirit of 
the Reform Act, that they would 
guard the honest voter against the 
many difficulties devised by lord 
Stanley against him, and that they 
would give the preference to a 
measure conciliatory to the great 
bodv of our Irish fellow-subjects. 

The debate was then adjourned. 
On the second night, after speeches 
in favour of the bill from Mr. S. 
O'Brien and Mr. C'arew, and from 
Sir R. Bateson and Mr. Young 
against it, lord Howick addressed 
the house and explainexl his reasons 
for supporting the ministerial mea. 
sure. He dwelt on the urgent 
necessity for a definition of the 
franchise, and extenuated the al- 
leged frauds and perjury of the 
Irish voters, on the ground of the 
uncertainty and diversity of opi- 
nion respecting the law. He 
approved cjf the principle of adopt- 
ing the poor-law rating as a test 
of value, and although he admitted 

that the valuations now before ihe 
house were far from aatis&ctorT, 
he did not think this a ground £ar 
opposing the second reading of die 
bilL He adverted to the progre»- 
sive diminution of voters in Ire- 
land in consequence of the system 
which landlords pursued of ve&s- 
ing to renew leases ; lie thou^t 
the number would be still furUier 
decreased by lord Stanley's biJL 
Though not fully satisfied witb all 
the details of the measure he would 
vote for the second reading. 

Sir W. Follett said, thai die 
main point on whidi he and the 
Conservative party founded dieir 
opposition to the bill was, diat 
under pretence of affinding a defi- 
nite test of qualification, it attadced 
the Reform Act on a materiai fioiat. 
He and they i^roved ia priae^^ 
of a test founded on the rate to 
the po(H: properly assessed. He 
knew not why it should be sup- 
posed that they were hostile to 
such a test ; on the eontrary he 
had supported it, and his n^t 
hon, friends near him had sup- 
ported that test as applied to the 
qualification for voting ia munict- 
pal bodies. What he objected to 
was this, that, under pretenoe, if he 
might so say, of applying the poor- 
rate as a test of value, this hill 
swept away and destroyed the pre^ 
sent elective franchise in Ireland. 
It en tirely and completely destroyed 
the constituency created by the 
Reform Bill, and substituted ano- 
ther constituency on a totally dif- 
ferent principle and of a totally 
different character. 

Mr. C. Duller supported the hill 
at considerable length. He said 
that the object of the opposite 
party was to establish the old 
Orange ascendency. But he ad- 
vised them to look not only to the 
strength and temper of the I^iah 



pec^le, but also to the critical state 
of our foreign relations. This 
was delicate ground to touch upon, 
but it should be remembered that 
all the great political acquisitions 
of Ireland had been made at such 
critical times. This allusion was 
received with some expressions of 
disapprobation by the house. The 
debate was a second time ad- 
journed, after a speech from Mr. 

On the third night the house 
was addressed bj Mr. Serjeant 
Jackson, Mr. Thesiger, and Mr. 
Milnes on one side, and by Sir 
W. Somerville and Mr. Brotherton 
on the other. 

Mr. Slaney took a middle course. 
He objected to the low amount 
proposal for the franchise, which 
ou^t in his opinion to be adjusted 
to a honajide equivalent for that 
given by the BLeform Act He 
should vote, however, for the se- 
cond reading, with the desire of 
modifying the 5Z. clause in com- 

Sir James Graham made a long 
and powerful speech against the 
bilL He arraigned in forcible 
terms the motives of the govern- 
ment in bringing forward the bill 
which they could noi have the 
slightest hope of carrying, but 
which was of a piece with that 
system of continual concessions, of 
constitutional changes, which they 
had from the first pursued to con- 
ciliate their radical supporters. 
He traced the progress of this 
tyatem^ in various instances, from 
the return of the Whigs to power 
after their resignation in 1835. 
Then came the present concession 
of the 5/. franchise, which could 
be regarded in no other light than 
as a boon granted to Mr. O'Coo- 
nell. This measure had been 
jiri^iosed by him in 1S32, and then 

opposed by the government: he 
had since, from time to time, re- 
newed the attempt to introduce it, 
and it had been resisted by them 
with more or less of firmness. 
Now« at last, they had given way. 
He must say, he had very evil 
forebodings as to the use to which 
this concession would be applied. 
Mr. 0*Conne]l had declared it was 
but the means to an end. That 
end had been explicitly avowed. 
Lord John Russell and other 
members of the government had 
pronounced emphatic condemna- 
tions of the agitation for a repeal 
of the union, but how did their 
policy consist with such language ? 
Lord Ebnngton had recently de- 
clared that he would not coun- 
tenance repeal by bestowing his 
patronage on any person favour- 
able to It But what had been the 
conduct of her majesty's ministers 
on the subject? The honourable 
member for Liskeard had said» that 
there was an instrument by which 
all popular leaders might be con- 
ciliated. That appeared to be the 
recipe by which the government 
attempted to put down the repeal 
agitation in Ireland. It had oc- 
curred to him, that it would be 
worth while to look to a division 
on a repeal motion made in 1834 
by the honourable and learned 
member for Dublin. In the list 
there were thirty-eight who voted, 
and two tellers. He would read it, 
to show how large a portion of 
those popular leaders had been 
conciliated by the delightful re- 
cipe. The first on the list was Mr. 
Fitzsimon, a near relative to the 
member for Dublin, now appointed 
to be clerk of the hanaper in Ire- 
land. The next was Mr. Keonedy, 
then the representative of Tiver- 
ton, who now filled the situation 
of slave commissioner at :the Hf- 


vannah. The next was Mr. Lyiich^ 
now a master in chancery. Then 
came Mr. Maurice O'Connell, clerk 
of the registry-office in Dublin. 
Then Mr. O'Dwyer, of the court 
of exchequer. Then an honour- 
able gentleman who had been made 
a baronet— the honourable member 
for Limerick^ he believed/ sir David 
Roche. Then came the teller, 
who was now the president of the 
board of trade. Last, but cer- 
tainly not leasts came the honour- 
able and learned member for Dub- 
lin> who had last year announced 
in his place that he had been of- 
fered the office of chief baron in 
Ireland by the government, but 
had refused it, because he could 
not trust himself. 

Sir James Grraham then called 
on lord John Russell to declare 
whether he was weary of the 
Reform Act^ and to what ex* 
tent he was now disposed to carry 
his innovations on that measure. 
^'He thought that noble lord ought 
frankly to state whether he in- 
tended to make further conces- 
sions ; that he ought to avow his 
principles^ and give them their 
legitimate effectj even if the fate 
of his government hung on the 
issue ; or beware, lest it should be 
said of him with truth, that he 
was content to govern by the power 
of the crown, when he had ceased 
to command the confidence of the 
nation." (Cheers.) 

Mr. Shell delivered an address, 
characterised by that species of 
fervid declamation which usually 
marks his speeches. He warned 
the house to consider the present 
condition of Europe, and to weigh 
the danger of exciting the enmity 
of the Irish nation under such cir- 
cumstances. His speech was fol- 
lowed by a third adjournment of 
the debate. 

On the fourth nighty speeches 
were delivered^ for and against the 
bill, by a gieat number of English 
and Irish members^ whose argu- 
ments, however, were prindpalfy a 
repetition of those used by pre- 
ceding speakers. A speech of Mr. 
O'Connell, however, deserves some 
notice. He asked, ** was it politic to 
tell the people of Ireland that there 
was no hope for their country or 
for their religion in any fom? 
The simple question was, whether 
they would pass a measure to ex- 
tinguisli the franchise of Ireland, 
or to extend and increase it. That 
was the real question, and all else 
was merely collateral matter." 

He travelled over the oft-re- 
peated topics of Irish grievances, 
ahe penal laws, the insults whidi 
Ireland had sustained from Eng- 
land, and the disproportion of the 
burdens which she was made to 
bear. He complained, among 
other things^ of the disfranchise- 
ment of the 40^. freeholders ; and 
utterly denied that it was a com- 
pact, or a condition for granting 
the Relief Bill. He complained of 
the unequal proportions in which 
the franchise and representation 
were distributed by the Reform 
Act. The constituencies in Ireland 
were gradually diminishing, and 
the Irish people had to thaiuL lord 
Stanley for* having called attention 
to this fact. He denied that this 
bill would extend the franchise too 
far. He would gladly, give a vote 
to every man in Great Britain as 
well as in Ireland. Again, allud. 
ing to the danger of foreign war^ 
so long as Ireland continued dig. 
satisfi^, Mr. O'Connell exdaim* 

" 1 want you to tell the people 
of Ireland that all these divisions 
shall end; that you will identify 
them with you. Oh I refuse it-«- 



I threaten you with nothing. I 
prophesy — I tell you that you are 
the real repealers^ and not I. I 
tell you, that hy this additional 
insult you hring the hanner of re- 
peal amongst a people altogether 
of the middle dasses, and many of 
them of the leading gentry." — Of 
this they might rest assured, that 
while he livedo no violent measures 
would he taken in Ireland. He 
relied with confidence on the Ca- 
tholic clergy, those truest '^ unpaid 
magistrates/' to second his efforts 
to this end. Outrages committed 
by a remnant of the Orange party 
on Catholics might occur, but never 
a tangible rebellion. 

Sir Robert Peel began by some 
severe animadversions on Mr. 
O'Connell^ for the spirit in which 
he had dwelt upon the old ani- 
mosities between England and Ire- 
land. It was a libd on the Irish 
people, to say that they would not 
join England in resistance to a 
foreign enemy. He hoped that 
Messrs. Macaulay, Sheil, and Bul- 
ler^ who had held the language of 
menace, were prepared to take 
their course when, in the next 
session, Mr. O'Connell should ad- 
vance still further demands as the 
price of peace. The real object of 
the present measure was to subvert 
the old, and to substitute a new 
representation. He would not 
suffer himself to be diverted into 
a consideration of the details of 
lord Stanley's bill; the introduc- 
tion of which, however, was the 
whole argument of the ministerial 
party, for not one of them said a 
word in favour of the government 
measure itself. He wished for a 
test which would exclude the pre- 
sent difficulties, but he would not 
agree to continue a system of 
proved abuses until a new test 
could be agreed upon. The mi- 


nisters had no right to tack on to 
the remedy a condition which must 
certainly defeat it. By that con- 
dition, the county franchise was 
thrown open to persons possessing 
not an atom of property ; it was a 
fraud on the compact made at the 
time of the Reform Act— a compact 
which, on the ground of its con- 
tinuing obligation, lord John 
Russell himself had, so lately as 
1837, refused to disturb. It was 
a fraud on the arrangement for 
the relief of the Roman Catholic 
body, whereof one condition was, 
that the county voters should, if 
possible, be made an independent 
body. Without that condition, the 
Relief Bill would undoubtedly not 
have been suffered to pass. When 
lord Morpeth refused to Mr. O'Con-^ 
nell the permission even to intro- 
duce his bill for the enlargement 
of the Irish franchise, it was on 
the twofold ground of the Relief 
Act and the Reform Act. On the 
other hand, he (sir Robert Peel) 
should himself regret to see any 
diminution of the constituent body 
below the standard fixed by the 
Reform Act. The 40^. franchise 
had been abolished, not by the 
wishes of the government which 
passed the Relief Act, but by the 
testimony of the Roman Catholic 
witnesses before a committee of 
the House of Lords in 1825. Mr. 
O'Connell's evidence at that time 
was, that the abolition of the 40^. 
franchise would be a positive benefit 
to Ireland. The persons who really 
abolished that franchise were Mr. 
O'Connell and Mr. Sheil, by the 
proofs which they adduced of the 
miseries resulting from it; and 
should we now be told that we 
were insulting Ireland by refusing 
to restore such miseries ? He then 
read passages from the evidence of 
Mr. D. Browne, to show the frau- 



dulent system on which the Irish 
landlords concocted these small 
votes^ and he explained how the 
franchise now proposed would lead 
to all the same abuses — to political 
jobbing, and to the increased sub- 
division of land. If this franchise 
were g;runted^ what ground had 
they for resisting a similar con- 
cession to England and Scotland ? 
He called on lord John Russell to 
declare his intention respecting the 
Reform Act^ whether he meant to 
hold it permanent or not. The 
noble lord might have reasons now 
for holding different opinions to 
those which he avowed in 1837. 
There were lukewarm suppoiters 
whom it was necessary to con- 
ciliate, and his falling power re- 
quired to be propped up. But his 
power of resistance to all future 
demands would be greatly weak-* 
ened by the precedent now esta- 
blished. Sir Robert Peel then 
quoted several emphatic declara- 
tions made by lord John Russell 
in 1884 and in 1837> against fur- 
ther changes in the constitution of 
the House of Commons. These 
were manly declarations^ but the 
noble lord might now find the 
pressure upon him too strong to 
allow him to maintain the same 
language. He might find it ne- 
cessary to seek compensation for 
the loss of that public confidence 
which he now saw was leaving 
him^ by renewing the alliance with 
those in that house who appeared 
ready to withdraw from him their 
support. He might purchase, by 
concession on these points, a tem- 
porary support. But he (sir Ro- 
bert Peel) could not help think* 
ing, when the noble lord recalled 
to mind the declarations of 1834 
and 1837, it would abate some- 
thing of the feeling of satisfaction 
with which he contemplated hb 

temporary triumph over the pres- 
sure of immediate difficulties. 
Something of dissatisfaction in re- 
flecting on the small majority be 
might hnng to his aid to-iugiht 
must cast a gloom over the festivi- 
ties with which, perhaps, be might 
celebrate the new compact and the 
new alliance, when the mortifying 
regret came across him that be had 
gained that support by receding 
from the position which had ena- 
bled him to arrest the progresB of 
democratic principles, by stopping 
the progress of social improvement 
in Ireland, by encouraging hopes 
in this country, by rousing passions 
and exciting expectations which he 
could not ^Usappoint without being 
the object of indignation, and 
which he could not gratify with« 
out being the fomenter of eonvoU 
sion." (The right hon. baronet sal 
down amidst loud and protracted 

Lord John Russell said, that the 
Tory government which passed the 
Relief Bill had been guuty ol the 
same concession to the apprdiai«* 
sion of popular demands as sir Ro- 
bert Peel had reproached the pve* 
sent government with giving way 
to. If there was any breach of 
faith, it was in those who shackled 
the franchise with so manydiffi* 
culties, that the government, con* 
stantly taunted with protecting the 
abuses of the registration, found it 
necessary to take some measure on 
the subject, which, on other oon-* 
siderations, they would have nve« 
ferred to postpone. They had 
deemed it indispensable, in intio- 
ducing such a measure, to apply a 
remedy to the great cause at the 
evil — the ambiguity ci the fran- 
chise. They had selected the fraa* 
chise now proposed, consisting of a 
tenure which seemed iq^ropriate 
to a county franchisej and a rating 



which afibrded a measure of real 
value. It was enough to warrant 
the second reading of this bill, if 
gentlemen were prepared to vote 
for the principle; the rest was 
matter or detail, to be adjusted in. 
the committee. He censured the 
reflections thrown out upon the 
judges of Ireland, and regretted 
that thej should be consulted at 
a]l upon political questions. Lord 
John Russell then read some offi- 
cial returns, with the view of 
showing that a diminution had 
taken jnaoe in the number of elec- 
tors, and illustrated the fact by 
reference to the unwillingness of 
landlords to grant leases. Under 
such a reduction, some restorative 
measure was necessarv. He then 
addressed himself to the question, 
whether anjr change had taken 
place in his opinions with respect 
to the repeal of the Union, and the 
fimdi^ of the Reform Act. With 
rtfgfncX, to the former subject, they 
were the same as ever; he still 
looked on the repeal of the Union 
as the greatest calamity which 
could happen to both countries. 
But it was because he was attached 
to the Union that he felt bound, as 
a minister of the crown, to see that 
the Irish people were not wronged. 
As to abiding by the principles 
settled by the Reform Act, his 
views were still the same as those 
which he had avowed in 1837, in 
his letter to the electors of Stroud. 
But when he found the elective 
franchise in such a state of doubt 
and obscurity, so vague and under 
fined, as io lead to the greatest 
abuse, and at the same time so re- 
stricted as almost to extinguish the 
constituency, and when he found 
the judges themselves divided as to 
what was the law on the subject, 
he could not think that, by inter- 
ponng a remedy for such an extmk- 

ordinary state of things, he was in- 
troducing a precedent for a change 
of system in England and Scot<- 
land. He had been reluctant to 
interfere with the Irish Reform 
! Act till it became absolutely neces- 
sary, as it had now become, in 
consequence of lord Stanley's bill, 
and the votes of the House of Com- 
mons in the last session. He then 
referred to the statistics of the 
question, and contrasted the num- 
ber of registered electors in En* 
glish counties with the number of 
those in Irish counties of equal 
population, and argued that there 
was more danger of making the 
Irish exasperated by the restric- 
tion, than the English dissatisfied 
by the extension, of the Irish fran- 
chise. He did not fear, iii any 
event, that the allegiance of Ire<* 
land would be transferred to a 
foreign power, yet it was a matter 
of no small importance at the same 
time to be able to treat with 
France, America, or any other 
power, as the ministers of a sove* 
reign who ruled over an united 
and happy people. He disbelieved 
Mr. O'Connell's assertion, that 
there was any indisposition in the 
people of this country to do justice 
to Ireland. On the contrary,, he 
believed that, if the case were fairly 
stated to the people of England, 
they would be glad to do that 
justice. The Irish people had 
laboured under many disadvan-* 
tages, but he believed that, from 
the inestimable effects of the free 
working of the constitution> the 
advancement and improveiiient of 
that country were rapidly taking 
place, and that parliament would 
soon see the benefits derived to the 
community from their measures. 
{Loud cheers.) 

The house then divided, when 
the numbers were-^For the second 


reading 299 ; for lord Stanley's 
amendment 294 — ^Majority in fa- 
vour of the second reading 5. 

The announcement of the result 
was received with great cheering 
from hoth sides. Loi^ John Russell 
stated^ that it was the wish of the 
government that no delay should 
take place vnth reference to the 
hill* and he should move its com- 
mittal on the Monday following. 

The result of the contest on 
the second reading was not calcu- 
lated to inspire the government 
with very sanguine hopes of carry- 
ing their measure into a law, even 
if they had ever entertained serious 
designs of its becoming so. Out 
of tne narrow majority who had 
voted for the second reading, some 
deductions were to be made on the 
score of those who had reserved to 
themselves the right, or expressed 
the intention, of modifying the bill 
in committee, regarding the 5/. 
franchise clause, according to the 
ministerial representation of it, as 
a matter of detail, to which they 
were in no wise pledged by the 
present vote. It was obvious, 
therefore, to every one, even with- 
out reference to the fact that the 
ministerial majority was a rapidly 
decreasing one, — two seats having 
been recently lost by supporters of 
the government at contested elec- 
tions, and a third abandoned with* 
out a contest, — that the division on 
the second reading, though it might 
afford the means of throwing over 
lord Stanley's bill, was in efiSct no 
less decisive of the fate of lord 
Morpeth's, if the proposed altera- 
tion of the franchise were to be 
adhered to as a vital part of tlie 
measure. It had indeed been an. 
nounced by lord John Russell, 
immediately after the division, that 
the government would proceed 
without delay with their bill« and 

that he should move its committal 
on the following Monday. Whea 
that day arrived, however, a difier- 
ent course had been resolved upon* 
At the meeting of the house 
lord John RusseU explained bis 
intentions. His first considtt* 
ation, he said, related to the buat- 
ness of the house* He believed it 
would be extremely inoonvenieiit 
that the discussion in committee 
should commence immediately be* 
fore Easter, when many members 
would necessarily be absent, and 
when it was very possible that a 
further postponement would be- 
come necessary. Under ordinaiy 
circumstances, after 296 members 
had voted against the second read* 
ing of the bill, he should have 
doubted the possibility of canying 
it through its subsequent stages, 
but the debate which preceded the 
division had left a Afferent im* 
pression upon his mind; several 
members on the other side having 
recognised the expediency of adopt* 
ing some clear method for settling 
the Irish franchise, while other 
members who had voted against 
the second reading had admitted 
that the poor-rate would form a 
good test for the purpose. Under 
these circumstances^ the amount of 
rating became the chief considera- 
tion ; and though he attached great 
importance to the amount fixed by 
the bill, he saw no objection to a 
brief delay, with a view to enaUe 
him to place before the house more 
precise and positive information. 
(This announcement was received 
with loud laughter from the oppo- 
sition benches.) It would not 
require much time or trouble to 
collect that information; and be 
should therefore propose to take 
the discussion on going into com- 
mittee in the first week after the 
Easter holidays; and with that 



view he would now move, that the 
order of the day for going into 
committee be postponed till Friday 
the 2drd April. 

Lord Stanlev said, he shared 
largely in the surprise that had 
been expressed by those around 
him> at the proposition of the 
government. He had indeed all 
along maintained, that the in- 
inrmation upon which the assent 
of the house was asked, was much 
too meagre and inconclusive to 
form the groundwork of so im* 
portant a measure, but he thought 
the ministers guilty of the height 
of rashness, in bringing forward 
8uch a measure on information 
which they now admitted was an 
insufficient guide for a vote of the 

Lord John Russell was under- 
stood to sav. '* Not all the inform- 
ation which government possesses." 

Lord Stanley : '' Not all the in- 
formation which the government 
possesses! I cannot believe so. 
I will assume, that government, on 
giving information to the house, 
gave all that they possessed. If 
they have not given all, they have 
deluded and deceived the house in 
calling upon parliament to sanction 
a measure of this vast importance 
on evidence not only confessedly 
meagre and imperfect, but confes- 
sedly more meagre and imperfect 
— ^if I am to credit the noble lord 
«*— than it might have been." 
{Loud cheering,) 

Lord Stanley, amid the vehe- 
ment cheers of bis party, then 
proceeded to say that he would 
take the sense of the house against 
the clauses which conferred the 5/. 
franchise. He gave lord John 
Russell great cr^it for his inge-* 
Huity in overleaping ten or twelve 
order days; the consequence of 
which would probably be to post« 

pone his (lord Stanley's) measure 
till a period of the session when it 
would be defeated by mere lapse 
of time. He had great suspicion 
of the motives which had dictated 
this postponement. He should 
postpone the second reading of his 
own bill till the 23rd March ; and 
he promised that within ten days 
of that time he would be prepared 
to announce whether it was or was 
not his intention to press the se- 
cond reading on that day. 

That the result of this procras- 
tinating expedient of the govern- 
ment would be to hang up the 
subject of Irish registration for 
another session, was now pretty 
well understood by all parties. 
The newspapers in the whig in- 
terest spoke in terms of confident 
triumph of the arrangement. The 
Pilot, generally understood to be 
the organ of Mr. O'Connell's sen- 
timents, thus characterised the 
proceeding : — 

** Lord Morpeth's bill is post- 
poned until after the recess; in 
other words, it is a finesse to foil 
lord Stanley's bill and quash his 
own. Let us not be humbugged 
any longer. You who only hang 
back expecting something to be 
done, join repeal at once. You 
will get nothing. Nine-tenths of 
the people, who have not joined 
repeal agitation, are, we know, in 
this state of suspended animation. 
Let them awake: they may as 
well wait till the river passes, as 
expect any thing from English 

Mr. O'Connell, in a letter read 
at the repeal association in Ireland 
about this time, thus expressed 
himself on the subject of the two 

"There are two measures be- 
fore parliament, lord Morpeth's 
bill ' to amend the law respecting 


the qualification and registration 
(tf voters in Ireland ' — a Ull which 
tmlj deserves the name given to 
it. There iSj on the other hand, 
lord Skanlev's bill, entitled ' a bill 
to amend the registration of voters 
in Ireland'^ a title false as the 
black heart of its inventor. 

** Let Ireland, then, arouse her* 
tielf. Let petitions pour in in 
suppc^t of the one bill, and in 
condetnnation of the other. Let 
no idle jealousy prevent the re-* 
pealera from joining every man 
who will petition in favour of lord 
Morpeth's bill, or against lord 
Stanley's^ We have not a moment 
to spare upon idle jealousies. When 
the petitions are of any bulk, let 
them be transmitted as parcels by 
the railway ; which, in that case, 
can be done mudi cheaper than 
sending them by post. Let there 
be no delay. Petition, petition, 
petition i 

*' Lord Morpeth's bill is an ex* 
oellent bill. We should not conceal 
it from our friends that we know^ 
it to be an excellent bilL We oan»* 
not disguise it from our enemies 
•**they know it to be an excellent 
billk But it will be an excellent 
bUl only if we get it in the sh«ipe 
in v^hicn it has been brought in^ 
withtnit alterations dr mutiuitions. 
The period is come when, for the 
finst time, we can exclaim with 
perfect justice, ' The bill, the 
whole bil]« and 'nothing but the 

At a meeting of the repeal as* 
sociation, on the 1st March> Mr. 
John O'Conneil, who attendkd as 
the r^reaentative of his fatb^> 
thus apoke of the consequences of 
passing lord Si|iiky*a bill, and re* 
jecting lord Morpeth*8 : — 

** iXt ihe English choose be- 
tween those two bilk; let them 
confer the blessings of l^d Mot* 

peth's bill, or inflict the deep de- 
termined curse of which lord Stan** 
ley's bill would be the source. Let 
England now do justice to Ireland > 
or, so sure as to morrow's sun will 
rise, Ireland will yet refuse her 
asfdstance in the hour of need." 

This sentiment, says the report 
of the proceedings, was received 
with great cheering. 

The next notice of the subjest 
which occurred in the House of 
Commons was on the 11th March, 
when lord Stanley said, that in 
fulfilment of the undertaking that 
he had given to the houae to an^^ 
nounce the course which he in^ 
tended to pursue with respect to 
this bill, he now moved that the 
order of the day, for which hia bill 
now stood, should be discbaiged, 
for the purpose of fixing it fer the 
28th April, in full confidence that 
the government would aidkere to 
its declared intention of prooeeding 
to the full discusflkm of its owa 
bill on the 2drd April, ttx whkh 
they had fixed it. The cider was 
disdiarged accordingly. 

On the 22nd April, lord Mor* 
peth, having been questaoned mt 
the sulgect by air Robert Peel, mdb 
an announceanent of a material 
alteration which the govemment 
intended to propose in committee 
on the RegistraUon bill« Thcgr 
proposed to raise the amount of 
rating which was to confer die 
elective frandiise fcrcountiealiR»a 
51. to 8^ 

At lengthy on the 2€th Aij^, 
the House of Commons wont mt» 
committee on lord Mcrpet)|'« hiUL 
Hie first ckttse dedaiedt that i»OQ 
tlie expiraticii of one mofttk mar 
a poOr*rate shall be ^KtabUaked in 
any county or b(HN>ugh» tlie act 
shall oome into oper«tieii; after 
which no peraon ia ^* to be entitled 
as « freeboU« ^ IcMitWdir !• 



be registered as a voter for such 
county, in respect of any freehold 
or leasehold property in his actual 
occupation^ save as herein pro- 

On this clause lord Howick pro- 
posed an amendment^ declaring 
that no person <' claiming under 
any act or acts now in force to be 
entitled to be registered and vote 
aiH parliamentary elector for any 
eounty, in respect of any freehold 
or leuehold property in his actual 
occupationy shall be deemed to have 
a beneficial interest therein of the 
clear yearly value required by such 
act or acts, except as hereinafter 
provided.^ Lord Howick disa- 
vowed any intention of hostility 
to the government in bringing 
forward his amendment. No one 
denied more than he did to see 
Iidbod in the enjoyment of a bond 
fide popular constituency ; but he 
did not think that lord Morpeth's 
bill would attam that object. .The 
right of voting in counties in Eng- 
land 88 well as Ireland had hitherto 
been based on property. Now lord 
ifoq>eth*s clause entirely set aside 
that principle; according to that 
daoae^ if a person held a lease of 
fourteen years^ and were rated at 
the amount of SL, he would be 
entitled to vote; even though 
the rent which he actually piud 
aoMHinted to 16/. instead of %l., 
and his farm were acttiallv a bur* 
den instead of a profit to him. The 
fault of the existing system lay in 
the want of agreement as to what 
constituted a ^'beneficial interest ;" 
and suppasing that were agreed 
upon, the only test of its amount 
waa the oj^nion of persons strongly 
interested one way or another. 
He proposed a mode of obviating 
both those difficulties. He pro- 
po80d that the value of the property 
should be asocMtained by the valu- 

ation taken for the puqpose of 
assessment to the poor-rates. Hav- 
ing thus ascertained the value^ he 
examined the lease of the claimant, 
which, according to the existing 
law, must be produced at the time 
of registration. By deducting the 
value of the rent reserved for the 
lease, a test of the interest of the 
voter was obtained, which ap- 
peared to him liable to no objec- 
tion. It then became a question 
what was the amount of interest 
which should give the franchise. 
He should not think himself jus- 
tified in proposing his amendment, 
if he were not prepared at the 
same time to recommend a consid- 
erably lower amount of qualifica- 
tion than 10/. He believed that 
the moment the test was applied, 
its practical severity would be such 
that all fraud would be most com- 
pletely and efiectually excluded. 
He proposed, therefore, in the 
amendment which he was about 
to move, that the sum of SL excess 
of value beyond the rent and 
charges to which the person who 
claimed the right to vote was 
liable, should be considered a suf- 
ficient qualification. He thought 
that a *^ beneficial interest" of 10/. 
would be not unfairly construed 
by an excess in rating of 5/. This 
led him necessarily to explain ano- 
ther amendment, to be moved sub- 
sequently. Lord Morpeth pro- 
posed, as a qualification for the 
franchise, a lease of fourteen years, 
and a low rating of 8/.; lord 
Howick proposed that the yearly 
tenant should be admitted to the 
franchise in common with the 
holder of a lease for fourteen years. 
Lord Howick concluded by urging 
the advantage to parties on both 
sides, of the house, of effecting a 
settlement of the question, which 
neither could resist, but which 


neither could carry in spite of the 

Lord Morpeth freely exonerated 
lord Howick from the suspicion of 
being actuated by a wish to em- 
barrass ministers. In reference to 
lord Ho wick's closing exhortation, 
he said that ministers had done 
their best to show that they would 
not stand on extreme opinions. 
Though convinced that the propo- 
sal they had originally made with re- 
spect to the franchise, could be borne 
out by all the information which 
could be supplied to the house from 
Ireland^ they had not hesitated, in 
deference to the opinion which had 
been expressed by some persons^ 
that the standard at first proposed 
for the franchise was too low, to 
concede upon that point, by raising 
the amount of rating required to 
confer a vote to 8/. 

He sympathised with lord How- 
ick's desire not to diminish the 
constituency of Ireland; but he 
thought that the proposed amend- 
ments would tend in a very start- 
ling degree to defeat the mover's 
wishes. The first, equally with 
the original clause, proposed a 
great alteration in the definition 
of the " beneficial interest," only 
in more doubtful terms; and there- 
fore lord Morpeth would retain 
the words of the clause, as more 
straightforward. Had the second 
amendment been moved as an ad- 
dition to the original bill, lord 
Morpeth would not have opposed 
it; but, viewing it as a substitute 
for the qualification of the bill, it 
was to be feared that any expec- 
tation of an increase to the con- 
stituency resulting from it was 
merely delusive. Besides, he knew 
that lord Howick meant to pro- 
pose a further restriction, by re- 
quirbff actual occupancy on the 
part of the tenant ; a proposition 

which the house ought jealously 
to examine. Lord Howick went 
further than lord Stanley, who did 
not propose to go the length of a 
solvent tenant test, while to the 
stringency of that test lord Howick 
would add the further rigour which 
a valuation for assessment always 
carried with it. Lord Morpeth 
then entered into a great number 
of details, derived from the poor^ 
law returns, to prove that the 
rating under the poor-law was ge- 
nerally below the real value. He 
then quoted similar returns from 
several counties, to show the num- 
ber who would be disfranchised 
by lord Howick's amendment ; by 
which it appeared that in some 
counties a test requiring an excess 
of 51. value above the rent would 
disfranchise more than three- 
fourths of the 10/. tenant voten. 

In short, lord Howick's scheme 
would have the effect of almost 
enti];^ly disfranchising the present 
occupying constituency of Ireland. 
Lord Morpeth thought there was 
no plan so likely to correct the 
electora labuses of Ireland as some 
simple and fair test of rating, sach 
as that proposed by government. 

Mr. Charles Wood explained 
that lord Howick's amendment 
was meant as an addition to the 
government plan. Mr. Wood gave 
a few figures to show the neces- 
sity of the change, to counteract 
the present practice of not renew- 
ing leases. Taking the year 1835 
as that in which the Reform Bill 
might be considered as fairly car- 
ried out, he found that, since that 
time the decrease of voters had been 
about 7,500, besides those who had 
been taken off by the system of not 
renewing leases. The constituency 
was diminishing at the rate ol 
5,000 a year. Sir Charles Grey 
opposed die amendment* 



Lord Stanley called upon the 
house deliberately to ponder the 
several propoidtions before it. The 
proposition of t;he government— 
their last proposition, made at the 
last moment, brought forward two 
months after the introduction of 
their bill, and upon evidence ob- 
tained, not for the purpose of 
framing the bill, but for the pur- 
p06e of bolstering it up — the pro- 
position of the government was to^ 
establish, as the franchise for Ire- 
land, the being rated to the relief 
of the poor to the amount of 8/., 
without reference to the amount 
of the tenant's beneficial interest 
—without reference to the fact 
whether he was a person having a 
beneficial interest -^ whether he 
was a solvent tenant, and pos- 
sessed of any property whatever. 
That was the principle for which 
the government contended. In op- 
position to that principle, the no- 
hie member for Northumberland 
had come forward, and said, "1 
propose to define the existing fran- 
chise in Ireland—to define it, cer- 
tainly, with some modifications 
and limitations; but I will take 
rating as a test ; and taking rating 
as a test> I propose that a certain 
amount of rating (not simply per 
Me, but a certain amount over and 
above the rent) shall be deemed 
and taken to be, not a new quali- 
ficatioui but the legal and correct 
interpretation of that for which I 
contend, in common with honoura- 
ble members on the other side of 
the house, namely, the beneficial 
interest on excess of value over the 
burdens upon the holding/' That 
was precisely in accordance with 
the principle of the Reform Act, 
whidi lord Stanley wished to 
maintain, but which the govern- 
nmit desired to abolish. However, 
tiierafore^ it might suit the views 

of ministers to represent the noble 
lord's amendment as merely a ver- 
bal one, he could by no means agree 
in the correctness of that descrip- 
tion. The amendment distinctly 
brought before the house the ques- 
tion, " Will you, or will you not, 
maintain the beneficial interest as 
a test of the right of voting?" 
Upon that ground he would vote 
in favour of the amendment pro- 
posed by the noble lord. He should 
regret to see the constituency of 
Ireland diminished ; but there was 
no proof that that was the case at 
present, compared with the num- 
ber of voters at the time of the 
Reform Bill. He went into a state- 
ment of figures to prove this as- 
sertion. He thought that lord 
Howick had successfully exposed 
the absurdities or mistakes of the 
government measure, and that lord 
Morpeth had successfully argued 
against the details of lord Ho wick's 
plan. He could, therefore, vote 
for neither scheme ; but he should 
vote for the principle asserted in 
lord Howick*s amendment. 

Mr. O'Connell affirmed that the 
county constituency had decreased 
by the number of 20,000 since the 
Reform Act passed, and he went on 
to compare the proportions between 
the population and the number 
of electors in Ireland and Great 

Lord John Russell was sorry to 
find, from what lord Howick and 
lord Stanley had said, that there 
did not appear to be any prospect 
of settling the franchise of Ireland 
on a satisfactory basis. He had 
thought it the duty of the ministers 
to subject themselves to the taunts 
which he knew they would receive 
on departing from their original 
proposition> in order to bring the 
question to a close, and procure 
for Ireland the tranquillity which 


would turn attention from political 
contests to the encouragement of 
industry, agriculture, and com* 
merce. But it appeared to a great 
party that this was a course not to 
be taken. Lord Stanley, he said, 
supported the amendment because 
it maintained the principle of re- 
quiring an interest above the rent ; 
for that very reason lord John 
Ruasell opposed it. Although the 
sense of the words introduced by 
lord Howick might be completely 
changed by a subsequent clause, 
yet they appeared to sanction a 
definition of the franchise which 
would be utterly destructive of it. 
If the house meant to let the peo* 
pie of Ireland have a real repre<* 
sentation, they ought to do it now ; 
if not, let them say so in direct 
terms, and take their stand upon 
that dedaiation. 

Sir Robert Peel said, that '' lord 
John Russell had now pursued the 
course which he invariably pur- 
sued when he had some defective 
cause to advocate— 'trying to di- 
vert the attention of the House 
from the sulgect properly under its 
considenitionj by some declamation 
about political rights to raise a 
cheer from those who sat behind 
him> under cover of which he fan- 
cied himself triumphant*' (fireai 
cheering from the apposUum.) Sir 
Robert Peel exposed the inconsist- 
ency of the minuterialplan torevivc 
a constituency which was perish- 
ing dirough the refusal ai leases, 
by rendering a lease indiq>ensable 
to the qualification of the voter. 
And how long would they main- 
tain the principle that the right of 
voting should be dmved from the 
profit of the land in England, after 
adopting the test of mere occu- 
pancy and rating in Ireland? 
** Whyi what coniidenoe could we 
place in you as l^nslatois fit to 

deal with this subject? {Great 
cheering.) You had the whole of 
the recess to prepare in ; you had 
notices of this subject under con- 
sideration ; you had the means of 
gaining official information, and 
every element to enable you to 
bring forward a measure to con- 
ciliate public opinion: and you 
brought forward a measure de- 
stroymg the existing franchise, and 
'substituting a 5/. occupancy. We 
remained under the impression 
that that proposition was to be 
discussed; and, two or three nights 
before the consideration of the 
question came on, without a rea- 
son being assigned, the noble lord 
increased the frandiise from 5L to 
8/. And what does the noble lord 
tell us now ? That he could sup- 
port his 51, frandiise by reference 
to facts and evidence, whidi show 
that it was a provision whidi ought 
to have been made. Then why 
has it been abandoned?— ^whence 
came the suggestion of objection ? 
— Not from this side of the House. 
The noble lord says, ' I made this 
alteration in the hope of concili- 
ating your favour^ and now yon 
reject it' We never objected to 
the amount, but to the principle.'' 
Like lord Stanley, sir Robert Ped 
said he would vote fi>r the prin* 
dple of lord Howick*s amendment, 
which he regarded so far in the 
light of an abstract lesolutioo, de- 
claring the opinion of the House 
that the profit of the land, aadnot 
occupancy, ought to consttote die 
franchise. Thevoteon thedanse, 
saidsir Robert Ped^mustdeeide die 
fiite of the bUl. Mr. O'Comidi 
had referred to the amoimtof popu- 
lation: sir RobertPedsnpposed that 
government would not ftdopt that 
as the test of a fi«e oonstitiieiicy. 
The question befixe the boose, 
however^ WM of snodiec knL h 



Wat not whether or not the fran- 
chiie should be coextensive with 
the population: the question which 
arose was this— whether her ma- 
jesty's government had made a 
provision which entitled them to 
the puUic confidence of the house ; 
and he must say, that the course 
they had pursued on the Irish 
franchise appeared to him to dis* 
entitli ih&a to the confidence of 
the house or of the country » (Fe- 
k^neni cheering,) 

Mr. O'Conneli said> that he did 
not demand to make population 
the sole test of the franchise : it 
should he taken in conjunction 
with property. It was so in £ng«* 
land— why ^ould it be otherwise 
in Ireland? Ireland, however, 
would not despair — she was too 
peaceable, too well organized. 
Those who doubted him knew not 
the country which contained five 
millions who never tasted the 
liquor of intoxication* But to his 
opponents he said, *' Go on in your 
career." They did not disappoint 
him; on the contrary, they ani- 
mated his hopes. 

On « division, lord Howick's 
amendmeiit was carried by 291 to 

Ijord John Russell was not 
paved to say to what extent 
alteration affected the bill; i 
he Iherelbre proposed to post; 
itB fuitiia: coDsideratioa in o 
mictee till Monday, the 3rd of M«y . 
liOid Stanley aosgested that the 
oommittee sibould resume on 
previous Wednesday. Tothatjora 
Joha ftusseli agreed; and ] 
Stsnley postponed his own , 
which stood for Wednesday 
Uih of April, until Wednei r 
the l^lh «f M-y. B-^^ — prooeea- 
iigwiththeoi eontfaati 

hrt Mm 12 

He had asked the house to adjourn 
after the division of Monday even- 
ing, because he believed the words 
which had been inserted in the 
first clause to be of very great im- 
portance ; inferring from what had 
been stated in debate, that it was 
intended to exclude the franchise 
proposed by lord Morpeth. Go- 
vernment, however, would not be 
justified in considering the vote aa 
conclusive. The principal clause 
of the bill — that containing the 
franchise — had been affirmed by 
the house on the second reading of 
the bill ; and it must be considered 
that lord Howick's franchise was 
proposedy not with the view of 
negativing any other, but as aa 
addition to the franchise contained 
in the bill— an addition whidi 
ministers would be quite willing 
to accept if the house would adopt 
Uieir franchise. 

Lord Howick explained ha in- 
tended course. He had never 
thought of proposing the franchiae 
founded on a beneficial interest, 
except as an addition to some other 
franchise. If some other franchise, 
which admitted a considerabio 
number of electors to the ri^t of 
voting, were agreed upon by the 
house, he should, in that case, and 
in that case only, propose the fran- 
chise of whidi he had given no- 
tice. Still, he could not suppcvt 
the government clause. He waa» 
indeed, surprised that the minis- 
ters could call upcm the house to 
decide upon it; for any one who 
knew any thing c^ public affiurs, 
en: of the state of parties, kneW 
Uiat if the clause did pass ikai 
house, there was no human profai* 
Ulity that the proposed franchiae 
would ever become law. The 011I7 
consequence of further discnssioii 
must be to keep up the excitement 
in the house, and tim atiU man 


mischievous excitement in Ireland ; 
leaving the franchise for another 
year in a state of uncertainty, and 
retaining for another year all the 
evils of the registration which arose 
from the undefined state of the 

Sir Robert Peel said, that the 
ministers, the persons entrusted 
with the confidence of the sove- 
reign, had undertaken to settle 
this great subject, asserting the 
necessity as well of defining the 
franchise, as of adjusting the re* 
gistration. Instead of defining the 
franchise, they proposed a measure 
for destroying it. Lord Howick 
had suggested a different principle, 
that of retaining the beneficial in- 
terest, which he intended to pre- 
serve, in addition to, not in exclu- 
sion of, other franchises. That 
principle the government had en- 
deavoured to overrule. They had 
endeavoured to disfranchise the 
bond Jide freeholder of a clear in- 
terest of 7/. IOj. He had put his 
own proceeding upon this plain 
ground, that property ought to be 
the basis of a county qualification. 
But he could not consent to vote 
an important change in the fran- 
chise on the suggestion of an indi- 
vidual member not connected with 
the government, nor with any 
powerful party, and not possessing 
any authority to command the ne- 
cessary information. Nay, the re- 
cent returns expressly stated, that 
those who prepared them had no 
materials for calculating the num- 
ber of voters likely to be produced 
by one or other principle of quali* 
fication. The necessary means of 
information could only exist in the 
hands of government, and there* 
fore, though not disapproving the 
principle of lord Howick's amend- 
ment, he could not support itprac« 
tically by a vote* 

Lord Morpeth said, that lord 
Howick's argument in favour of a 
5L beneficial interest had not been 
resisted by the goYemment, as an 
addition to their own leasehold 
qualification by rating of 8/.^ but 
as a substitution for it ; and on 
this 8/. qualification, Uiey were 
determined on taking the opinion 
of the house. 

Mr. Sergeant Jackson said a few 
words ; ana Mr. H. Grattan made 
a vehement invective against lord 
Howick for the proposal of a mea- 
sure which he had kept alive just 
long enough toembarrasshisfricands!, 
and then had wanted resolution to 
carry through. He said ''it was 
time for Irish members to speak 
out ; and, as for himself, he would 
risk his life, his character, his all, on 
behalf of the liberties which were 
the birthright of his country.'' 

Upon the house going into 
committee, a discussion arose upon 
an amendment proposed by Mr. 
Hume, to fill up the blank in the 
second clause (with respect to the 
term of years necessary to ground 
the qualification) with the word 
*' one," instead of *^ fourteen.** Se- 
veral honourable members having 
contributed their suggestions fiir 
a standard of qualification, each 
speaker in turn preferring some- 
thing different from the last, Mr* 
Ward rather happily observed, Uiat 
"gentlemen were vsMyJishitig Sx 
a ^nchise. One sentleman re» 
commended one thug; another, 
another. Surely the rafe couiae 
was to follow the government, who 
had brought forward thdr phm, 
as Sir Robert Peel had said, upon 
their official responnlnlity.'* 

Mr. Hume rebuked Mr. Ward 
for his lecture. *' There had heoi a 
meeting," he said, *' of the appoA* 
tion members two days anoe» at 
which the policy of thi^ sidb of di5 



house was decided on; and no hon« 
curable member belonging to that 
side would dare to act counter to it. 
But a man in Dublin, or in anj 
other part of the empire, knew 
just as much of what the govern- 
ment intended to do as he did. 
The fact was, the government did 
not itself know what it meant to 
do. (Laughter,) Every day some 
new change was proposed." 

Lord John Russell vindicated 
the proposed leaseholder's qualifi- 
cation, in preference to that of 
mere occupation. 

Sir Robert Peel recommended that 
the government should be allowed 
to fill up the blanks in the way 
which would bring their measure 
into the shape they intended, and 
that the vote of the house should 
then be taken for or against the 
measure so shaped. To that end, 
he should vote with the govern- 
ment now, the details of the bill 
being a matter of perfect indiffer- 
ence to him. 

After a little more debate, the 
house divided, and the government 
proposal, fixing the term of lease 
at fourteen years, was carried by 
513 to 47. On the proposal to 
fill up the next blank so as to fix 
the rating at 8/., Mr. Hume moved 
an amendment to make it 5/. The 
original motion was carried by 434 
to 126. On the question being 
put from the chair, that the clause 
do stand part of the bill, Mr. Bro- 
therton moved that the chairman 
report progress. That amendment 
was rejected by 428 to 98. Amidst 
much confusion, Mr. O'Connell 
then moved that the chairman do 
leave the chair. Immediately after- 
wards he moved that the chairman 
re{)ort progress. Mr. Bemal, the 
chairman, refused to put this mo- 
tion, and a considerable degree of 
confusion ensusing, Mr. Wakley 

taunted Lord John Russell with 
the vacillation of the ministers, 
which produced so much embar- 
rassment to their adherents. Lord 
John Russell retorted upon Mn 
Wakley, with some ironical com- 
pliments on his inflexibility of prin- 
ciple. Ultimately he said that if 
this clause were rejected, the go- 
vernment would abandon the 

Sir Robert Peel said, that he and 
his friends might, had they so 
pleased, have taken advantage of 
the opportunity afforded them by 
Mr. O'Connell's amendment, and 
have got rid of the bill. They 
wished, however, for a fair and 
unequivocal decision on the clause, 
and therefore he proposed adjourn- 
ing the debate till the next evening, 
which lord John Russell agreed to. 

On the meeting of the house 
the next night, the question was 
again put, that the clause should 
stand part of the bill. This led to 
a renewed but not verv connected 
debate on the general merits of 
the bill, the principal speakers be- 
ing lord Stanley, lord Morpeth» 
Mr. Charles Wood, Mr. Hume, 
and Mr. O'Connell. The latter 
said that the approaching defeat of 
the bill, which he foresaw, would 
nevertheless do the ministers much 
good service in Ireland. It would 
be useless and tedious to recapitu- 
late, even in brief summary, the 
arguments used on either side, 
which, from the frequent repeti- 
tion of the same topics, had become 
totally devoid of freshness or no- 
velty. The great interest of the 
debate centred, of course, in the 
division, which excited intense 
eagerness. It at length took place, 
and the numbers appeared to be— « 
For the clause 289; against it 
30O— Majority against the govern- 
ment 11. 


After the division lord John 
Russell said he did not complain 
that the clause had heen rejected^ 
but that the grounds of the rejec* 
tion had not been made intelligible 
to the government and to the coun- 
try. He was satisfied that no fu«> 
ture bill would be useful, which 
should not be based on a definition 
of the franchise ; but he thought 
it could answer no wise or con» 
dilatory purpose to keep up the 
discussion of the present measure. 
He then moved that the chairman 
do now quit the chair. 

Sir Robert Peel sought no 
lengthened discussion on the mo- 
tion ; but he reminded lord John 
that he had endeavoured to secure 
a fair division on the merits of the 
clause. He was willing to make 
some allowance for lord John Rus- 
lell's asperity^ after what he felt 
on Wedneiday night, when he 
contemplated thetxMition in which 
he was placed. When lord John 
Russell saw Mr. Shell and Mn 
Hume, and othersof his supporters, 
indulging in mutual recrimination 
with respect to the policy of go. 
vemment, he must have felt an* 
noyed at the contrast with the 
unanimity on the other side. To 
show the want of purpose with 
which the government had acted, sir 
Robert Peel observed, that, toconci* 
liate one or two individual mem-* 
bersy they had raised the rating* 
test of the franchise from 5/. to SL 
•««a change which, judging by re* 
turns from thirty*one unions, swept 
away 76,000 out of the proposed 
constituency of 103,000. Such 
uncalled-for concessions must de* 
itroy all confidence in a ^▼oni'* 
ment's adhering even to its own 

At the conclusion of this speech^ 
a great majority of the members 
quitted the hou8e> leaving a com^ 

paratively small audience to knd 
Howick, who briefly attempted to 
justify his own course. Mr* Slaney 
said a few words> and the chair- 
man left the chair. 

Thus came to its end, after io 
many nights* debate and sn modi 
warm controversy, the great perty 
struggle of the seBsion<'-»the minis- 
terial measure for reforuiing the 
registration of voters in Ireland; 
a conclusion to whidi it had been 
from an early period pie-doomed 
by its opponents, if not privately 
predestined by its authors. There 
certainly appears much groond, on 
reviewing the history of its origin 
and progress, for the condusioii 
that this bill was introduced by 
the ministers without any dnewB 
contemplation of carrying it into 
a law. The operations commenoed 
in the preceding session by loid 
Stanley, rendered some emmtor* 
movement on the part of goveni* 
ment necessary. Lord Morpeth's 
bill, little differing from the other 
so far as the registration question 
was concerned, but with the popu- 
lar appendage of an extended fran* 
chise tacked on to it, was suddenty 
put forth into the market, for the 
obvious and scarcely»conccnled ob* 
ject of outbidding the rival mea* 
sure. So far as the frustration of 
the latter was concerned, the de» 
vice was completely sucoeasfiiL 
Lord Stanley, though he succeeded 
in overthrowing brd Morpeth's 
measure, was compelled, as he hod 
himself prc^osticated, when early 
in the session he saw the ministft- 
rial tactics developed, to abandon 
his own, and saw his eflbrts to 
reform the abuses of the Iridi xe« 
gistry a second time disappointed. 
But though thus far the end of 
ministers was answered, it on 
hardly be doubted that the remit 
of these debates and proeeediufs 



was a heavy moral loss to the so- 
vemment. impairing in no small 
degree the confidence which had 
been placed in tbem^ and sensibly 
lowering them in public opinion. 
The proceedings on the committal 
of the bill, which, as belonging to 

a measure that ultimately came to 
nought, would in themselves have 
been unworthy of record, yet pos- 
sess, it is conceived, some interest 
as striking illustrations of the de- 
cline and nearly approaching down- 
fall of the whig administration. 

64J ANNUAL R EGI ST ER, 1841. 


Jems* Civil Disabilities removal Bill — Opposed on second reading 
hy Sir R, Inglis -^ Supported by Lord John Russell'^ 
Carried by majorily ^113. Speech of Mr, Gladstone against 
the third reading — Answer of Mr» Macaulay — Bill passed by 108 
to 31 . In the House of Lords it is opposed hy the Bishops ofLon- 
don and Llandaff, and other Peers ; supported hy the Bishop of St* 
David's, Marquess of Bute, and Earl of Wicklow — It is refected by 
a majority ^34. Church cf Scotland — Non-intrusion question — Sttb~ 
ject introduced in the House of Lords by Lord Dalhousie — Speech of 
Lord Aberdeen — The Duke of Argyll takes up the question'^Obfed 
of the BUI introduced by him — His Speech, and Debate on first 
reading — Meeting of the General Assembly of the Scotch Church"-^ 
Dr. Chalmers moves t/ie deposition of the seven Ministers of the 
Strathbogie Presbytery — Account of t/ieir case~-*Dr. Cooke opposes 
him-^It is carried by a large majority — The deposed Ministers peiL 
tion the House of Lords^-^Lord Aberdeen presents Petition — Speech 
cfLord Melbourne^ who declines to interfere — Expostulation (ffjjord 
Brougham with the Government on their conduct — Public meetings 
in Scotland to express sympathy with the deposed Ministers ^^Pra. 
ceedings of the Non-intrusion party — Speech m a Delegate at Belfast, 
Seminary of St. Sulpice, in Lower Canada — Ordinance of Lord 
Sydenham inculpated in House of Lords by Bishop of Exeter — He 
accuses the Government of favouring the Church of Rome — Speech of 
Lard Melbourne — The Duke of Wellington tweets to the Ordinance 
— The Bishop of Exeter moves an Address to the Crown-^-'He is a«- 
swered by Lhrds Normanhy and Ripon — The Duke of Wellington 
retracts his objection to the Ordinance^ The Motion withdrawn. 
College of Maynoolh — Mr, Colquhoun moves for leave to bring in a 
Bill to repeal the Laws connecting it with the State — He animadverts 
on the Doctrines taught at the College, and their effect on the cha» 
racter of the Priesthood — Speeches of Lord Morpeth and Sir R. 
Inglis — Mr. O'Connell vindicates the College and his Church-^BiU 
read a first time, but not proceeded with. Church-rates — Mr. East* 
hope brings before the House the case of Mr. Baines — His Resolution 
negatived by majorily of 5 — He introduces a BUI to abolish Church- 
rates — It is read a ^ first time, but goes no further. Public Education 
'^Motion of Mr, E wart for appointment of Minister of Education — 
// is opposed by the Government, and withdrawn — Sir Robert Peel 
vindicates his own efforts to promote Scientific Instruction. Law 
Reform — Punishment of Death^^Bills of Mr. F. Kelly and Lord 



John Russell'^Mr. Kelli/s Bill mutilated in Committee — He aban- 
dons the measure — The Government carry their Bill^Effect of the 
nefv Act. Chancery B^form — BiUs of Attorney-General and of 
Sir E, Sugden^ Appointment of two Judges in Equity opposed by 
the latter — Bill passes through Committee, but Jlnally abandoned by 
the Government. Serjeant Talfourd^s Copyright Bill rejected. 

A QUESTION involving very 
important principles, though 
it occasioned but little discussion, 
and alight interest in the public 
mindy was raised in this session by 
a bill introduced by Mr. Divettj 
one of the members for Exeter* 
the object of which was to do away 
with we declaration required by the 
Municipal Corporations Act from 
all persons taking corporate offices, 
by reason of which members of the 
Jewish persuasion had been de* 
baned from holding civic magis- 
tracies. It was opposed on the 
second reading, by sir R. Inglis, 
who firmly protested asainst sur- 
rendering that principle of the 
constitution, by which magistracies 
had hitherto been confined to per- 
sons professing Christianity. He 
was answered by lord John Rus- 
sell, who supported the bill, and 
declared his readiness to go fur- 
ther, and admit Jews to seats in 
parliament, if they should demand 
that concession. On a division, 
the second reading of the bill was 
carried in a thin house by a ma- 
jority of 113, only 24 members 
voting in the minority. Some fur- 
ther discussion on the principle of 
the bill took place on the third 
reading. Mr. Gladstone renewed 
the opposition by rising to move 
that it be read that dav six 

He was satisfied that it was not 
possible to draw a line between a 
hill to admit Jews to municipal 
offices, and one to permit them to 
hold other offices, including seats 


in parliament. He would state 
his reasons for objecting to the bill. 
They were these. The Jew's pro- 
fession was in itself a disqualifica- 
tion for legislative offices in a 
christian country. Christianity 
was part and parcel of the law of 
England. Our laws were modelled 
on the principles of Christianity. 
The proceedings in both houses of 
parliament were commenced by the 
solemn invocation of the Almighty, 
and the object set before them was 
the promotion of true religion and 
the glory of God. The question, 
then, really was, would they de- 
stroy the distinctive Christianity of 
the constitution? The test for 
office was at present a Christian 
test, and this the bill went to an- 
nul. He did not know whether 
he was not rendering himself liable 
to the charge of "sheer intoler- 
ance 'f*' but the ground he occupied 
was precisely the same as if he 
were discussing a purely civil ques- 
tion. Let him guard himself in 
speaking of the Jews as a body. 
Who could doubt there were 
many honest, zealous-minded men 
amongst them ? The stronger, 
thereiore, was the objection to 
investing them with the privilege 
of legislating for Christians. There 
were many Jews, doubtless, who 
would discharge those duties well, 
but still it was the duty of the 
state to choose those who, as a 
class, were most competent for the 
duties to which they were ap- 
pointed. Now, he did not see 
how it could be held that the Jews 


possessed the necessary qualifica- 
tions. Mr. Gladstone here called 
attention to the great number of 
questions, essentially connected 
with the highest Christian consi- 
derations, which had come before 
the house during the last ten years. 
For instance, in England the ques- 
tions of church-rates, church ex- 
tension^ and national education ; 
in Scotland, the appointment Of 
ministers of the established church ; 
in Ireland such questions were al- 
ways arising. These were the 
questions the most difficult to ad- 
just, the most impossible to agree 
upon, and which most agitated the 

If Christianity were a great per- 
vading principle of our law, if most 
great questiims were intimately 
associated with those principles, 
then those who rejected Christia« 
nity were not competent to enter 
on those subjebts. The proposition 
was very differeilt from that upoti 
which the claims of the Roman Ca- 
tholics and D issenters were founded . 
With them we had the common 
bonds of belief in the same Re- 
demption. There were also con- 
siderations which broadly distin- 
guished their case from that of the 
Jews. The one adhered as stfongly 
as ourselves to the text of Chris- 
tianity, the other did not. The 
one constituted a large majority in 
one portion of the united king- 
dom — the others were scarcely 
perceptible on the face of English 
society. So much as to numbers, 
now as to grievances. He was 
not aware that the Jews had any 
especial ones to complain of. No 
allegation of this kind had ever 
been made. It was to be borne 
in mind that there were still some 
offices to which the religious test 
was strictly applied. To the holder 
of the crowDji to the lord chancellor. 

and to certain great offices m Ire-« 
land. I n his mind^ the constitution 
would be much better preserved 
by limiting the power of holding 
office to Christians, than by ad- 
mitting Jews. The time might 
come when the parliament of Eng- 
land would be called upon to ex- 
ercise functiotis still more directly 
ecclesiastical. He admitted that 
the present house was^ to a certain 
extent, disqualified for discussing 
such questions as these. He did 
not complain of this change ; the 
time might come when the ad- 
mixture of creeds amon^ them 
would be so strange that it would 
be an insult to public opinion to 
think of discharging ecclesiastical 
functions. In introdticing these 
men, therefore, to parliament^ and 
to other high offices5 there existed 
an absolute tendency to disqualify 
parliament fbr the performftnoe oi 
any duties connected with religiont 
add, by easy tranntions^ to overturn 
the very principles on which the 
constitution of this nation is 

The honourable gentleman con- 
cluded by moving that the bill be 
read that day six months. 

Mr. Pringle seconded the mo* 
tion. He objected to the prin- 
ciple of the bill, as repugnant to 
the feelings of christians. 

Mr. Macaulay said, tha{;, leaving 
the question of religious toleration 
in general, he intended to confine 
himself to the positions advanced 
by the honourable gentleman op« 
posite. On the ground that the 
bill relieving the Jews from all 
political disabilities would render 
them at some future time eligible 
to seats in parlia(ment> it had been 
said that those disabilities should 
not be removed. This argument 
was not a fair one. He had listened 
to the speech of the honourable 



member for Newark, and could 
discover no arguments which could 
not with great facility be applied 
to the members of that houte. 
( Cheers, ) Who was to decide on 
points of faith ?•— to say which was 
the true religioti ? He thought it 
wobld be inferred that there was 
a great deal of false religion in 
-that house. The honourable mem- 
ber had mistaken the object of the 
Wli It was not to admit Jews 
into the house. The case of our 
excluding Romaii Catholics from 
the throne, which had been alluded 
to, Was fl diffbrexit one. Mr. 
Macaulaj here compared the treat* 
•meiit of the Jews with that of 
Roman Catholics and Dissenters, 
'ai being much worse^ and if 
carried out, leading to actual and 
iipen persecution i He thought 
thtfir^ldusitm from civil pffices a 
^prtteiieal grievance of which they 
ioA a just right to oomplain* The 
.Roman Catholics amounted to 6 
or 7,000^000. It was found im- 
possible to resist the determination 
<of disaffected millions. But it was 
iHiid thd JeWs Were insignificant 
in point of numbers — that there 
was no need to feat a revolution 
in Pettilsoat-lane. If they were so 
insignificant a sect. Why refuse to 
remove their disabilities ? He ap- 
prehended no danger from it The 
Jews were not a proselytising peo- 
ple ; and he had seen how little 
Hlflu^nee certain articled of faith 
•had in. binding the ingenuity of 
certain casuists. He should be 
glad if those of Oxford would in- 
struct the Jews in some of their 
ingenuity, and then he had no 
doubt they would make an]r decla* 
ration required of them. (^Cheers.) 
He did not believe that, after re- 
moving the disabilities from the 
Roman Catholics and Protestant 
Dissenters, the house would be 

guilty of so great an injustice as 
to refuse the same booii to the 
portion of her liit^esty's subjects 
belonging to the Jewish persua- 

Mr. Goulbum opposed the bill. 
He said that Christianity waa part 
of the law of the land, and there 
were many cases connected with 
the duty of c(n*porate magistrates^ 
in which a Jew could not con- 
sistently ehforce the law. He 
instanced charges of blasphemy, 
and the obligations connected with 
the observance of the Lord*s dcly. 

Sir R. H. Inglis followed on 
the same side. Lord Sandon ex- 
pressed himself in favour of the 
bill. After a little more discus- 
3ion the house divided, when there 
appeared — For the third reading 
108 j against it 31— Majority 77. 

The Hll WiEis then read a third 
time and passed. 

In the House of Lords^ however^ 
the measure el^perienced a different 
fate. The bishop of Llandaff 
moved its rejection on the third 
reading, and was supported by the 
earl of Winchelsea, the earl of 
Galloway, and the bishop of Lon- 
don, who protested with much 
energy against the principle in- 
volved in the bill^ while he ex- 
pressed a sincere respect for milny 
individual members of the Jewish 
body. He knew that many of 
them were men of unbounded libe- 
rality, and of indiscriminate charity, 
and he would not shrink from pro- 
nouncing them worthy of imitation 
by many of their Christian fellow- 
men^ He knew them, too, to be 
men of honour and veracity i but 
let it not be concealed from their 
lordships, that the leadiitg men of 
the European Jews were not so 
much influenced by the religion of 
Moses as by the visionary ddi6- 
trines of the Talmud, by which 



the people were kept in the dark* 
ness of ignorance. He believed 
that the Jews interested in the 
passing of this measure were few 
in number^ and that the humbler 
classes cared nothing about it. In« 
deed, he doubted much whether 
the iHore sincere and conscientious 
Jews would think themselves jus- 
tified in accepting offices under the 
present bill. The question was> in 
niie, as he had stated it — namely, 
wtether they were prepared to 
break down the constitutional prin- 
ciple of the country, and do away 
that national homage which had 
hitherto been paid to the Christian 

On the other side, the bill was 
supported by the marquess of Bute, 
the earl of Wicklow, and the 
bishop of St. David's. The latter 
reverend prelate said, he thought 
the Christian religion would be in 
no way endangered by such a mea- 
sure as this, and he looked on it as 
a matter of policy, as far as pos- 
sible, to conciliate the affections of 
a wealthy and powerful body of 
individuals towards the land of 
their birth, to which they might 
be attached, although they must 
ever remain to a certain extent 
foreigners and aliens. 

The supporters of the bill also 
dwelt upon the inconsistency of 
that state of the law which allowed 
Jews to serve as sheriffs, and even 
gave to certain municipal bodies 
a discretionary power of admitting 
Jews or not, while in other cases 
it excluded them by the declara- 
tion now sought to be removed. 
There was, however, little novelty 
exhibited in the speeches on either 
side, which embraced nearly the 
same topics as those already pre- 
sented by the speakers in the 
House of Commons. 

Upon a division there appeared 

— For the third reading of the 
bill 64 ; for the amendment 98— 
Majority against the third reading 
34. The bill was consequently 

The still unsettled controversy 
respecting the right of patronage 
in the church of Scotland led to 
some discussion in parliament and 
elsewhere, which it will be proper 
briefly to notice. At an early 
period of the sescdon, lord Had- 
dington introduced the subject in 
the house of lords, by inquiring of 
lord Melbourne whether govern- 
ment entertained any intention of 
introducing a measure on the sub. 
ject, to which the prime minister 
returned an answer in the nega- 
tive. On a subsequent day, the 
earl of Dalhoude again brought 
the subject on the tapis. He ob- 
served, that the bill which had 
been introduced in the preceding 
session by lord Aberdeen, though 
it passed a second reading, had uL 
timately been withdrawn, and that 
the demands of the clergy had 
since been carried farther than 
ever. Instead of asking from par- 
liament for a sanction of the veto 
on the admission of ministers, they 
now demanded the abolition of 
patronage altogether. The ex- 
treme party had prepared and 
brought forward a bond which 
bore on the face of it the character 
of a solemn covenant. It was 
headed, ^^ An engagement in de- 
fence of the liberty of the church 
of Scotland," and by it they en- 
gaged in holy covenant to main- 
tain, at all hazards, the principles 
therein set forth, and on no account 
to make any surrender or com- 
promise of them. When he saw 
this feeling, he came to the con- 
clusion, that any measure such as 
that which was brought forward 
in the last session of parliament 



could be attended with no bene- 
ficial result^ and that the best 
course would be, as the demands 
were so extravagant and mon- 
strous^ to leave the law as it at 
present stood, to see that its pro- 
visions were rigorously enforced, 
and that its authority was vindi- 
cated on the heads of those who 
violated or evaded it. He believed 
that the extravagant claims made 
by a part of the clergy were op- 
posed by a large majority of the 
people of Scotland, who were capa- 
ble of forming an opinion, that a 
large majority of the clergy ob- 
jected to them, and the general 
body of the Dissenters in Scotland 
had publicly expressed their dis- 
approbation. He concluded by in- 
quiring of Lord Aberdeen, whether 
it was his intention to proceed 
with the bill which he had intro- 
duced in the last session. 

The earl of Aberdeen was not 
sorry to have an opportunity af- 
forded him of answering this ques- 
tion. He should avail himself of 
it to state what course he intended 
to pursue, and his reasons for it. 
The subject had lost none of its 
interest since the last session ; it 
had, however, assumed of late a 
sew feature. It might seem 
strange, that he should not per- 
severe in a measure which had re- 
ceived the sanction of a majority 
of the house in the last session, 
and to which a great portion of 
the clergy and people of Scotland 
had responded favourably. Never- 
theless, he could not forget that 
her majesty's government had de- 
clined to interfere with it. Lord 
Melbourne had abstained from ex- 
pressing any opinion about the 
sabfett, *but the lord chancellor 
strongly objected to the bill, con- 
sidering it a violation of the rights 
cf potxonage.. The General Assem- 

bly also objected to it ; they viewed 
it as incompatible with the interests 
of the church, and as rivetting still 
more closely the rights of patron- 
age ; nay, they spoke of it as an 
attempt to dethrone the Redeemer 
from his seat. He hoped his bill 
was justly liable to neither of these 
objections; but different as they 
were when they came to be united 
in practical opposition to the mea- 
sure, and when that opposition 
was aided virtually by her majes- 
ty's government and the dominant 
party in the Assembly, he was 
satisfied that the beneficial effects 
which he had expected from his 
bill would be defeated. He had 
an additional reason for not press- 
ing his measure this session. He 
could not now help believing, that 
the total abolition of patronage 
was the real object at which the 
petitionersfor non-intrusion aimed; 
the measure which he had intro- 
duced was certainly not calculated 
to satisfy them on that head, and 
therefore it would be useless to 
revive it. He did not object to 
the course pursued by the govern- 
ment, of abstaining from any in- 
terference with the subject. Such 
non-interference, however, ought 
to be bondjide and sincere. Now 
he did not for a moment question 
the honesty and sincerity of the 
noble viscount (Melbourne), but 
care should be taken that all the 
other members of government 
should speak and act in harmony 
with him. The principal law- 
officer of the government in Scot- 
land was looked upon, erroneously 
or not, as the principal supporter 
of the extreme party. Now the 
lord Aclvocate was regarded in 
Scotland as a much more important 
personage than the noble viscount 
himself; he was in fact the go- 
vernment. A declaration in that 


house^ unaccompanied by tinifor- 
mity of conduct in the other mem-r 
bers of the government, would not 
produce the effect which was de- 
sired. He was aware that reports 
had been industriously circulated 
by the dominant party in the 
assembly, that he entertained in- 
tentions of introducing a much 
stricter and more coercive measure 
than his former one on this sub- 
ject. He had no such intention, 
and this they very well knew, but 
as the rumour would afford a pre- 
text for a little declamation and 
abuse, they did not scruple to 
resort to it. Persecution was the 
object of the dominant party, and 
cruelly had they persecuted their 
brethren for no act but their obe- 
dience to the law of the land. 
But the law, if temperately and 
steadily administered, would be 
tpo strong for these reverend agi- 
tators. The subject here dropped. 
A few days afterwards, the 
duke of Argyle announced to 
the house, that if no other noble 
lord undertook the task, he should 
feel it to be his duty to intro- 
duce a measure with reference 
to the right of patronage in 
the church of Scotland. Lord 
Aberdeen said, he should cer. 
tainly pay the utmost atten- 
tion to any bill which the noble 
duke might introduce on the 
sulgect At the same time, he 
could not help thinking that the 
noble duke, who had supported 
his (lord Abeirdeen*s) measure of 
la&t session, was not aware of the 
difficulties which he would now 
have to encounter in legislating. 
He had himself repeatedly, last 
year, exinreased his opinion that the 
dominant party in the church of 
Scotland were not aiming at the 
total aboHtion of the right of 
pttkronage. This opbion be had 

expressed, fully believing the de- 
clarations that were made to him 
on the subject. But now, when 
he saw the same parties who had 
last year limited their prayer to 
the point of non-intrusion, adopt-; 
ing by large majorities, petitions 
praying for the total abolition of 
patronage, he could not I^elp 
thinking that a great change had 
taken place in their views. There 
was not a petition presented to the 
house in the present session, that 
did not pray for the total abolition 
of patronage. Lord Aberdeen then 
referred to some proceedings whidb 
had taken place at public meetinss. 
and meetings of presl^teries, m 
which an active part had been 
taken in favour of the total aholitioii 
of patronage by some of those very 
persons whom the duke of Argyki 
had referred to as his authonties 
for the moderation of the non-^ 
intrusionists. He sincerely hoped 
that the noble duke might prove 
to be more right than himself in 
his estimate of what their wishes 
-really were, and if so, would gladly 
render him every asastanoe in hk 

On the Ist of May, the duke of 
Argyle presented his promised bill 
to the house. In the able speeck 
in wthich he introduced it, the poUe 
duke, after referring to the history 
of the various acts of the Icfftr^ 
lature affecting the right oi jw^ 
tronage in the church of Scotland,, 
proceeded to read some letters ironi 
some of the most influentiai leadem 
of the dominant party in the 
church, with the view of sowing 
that the total ahoMtion of patroii- 
age, as by law estobHsihed^ wa» noi 
the means by wiiich thia poi^ 
desired to see the exisdifg. difiBfM 
ences settled. Two of these wfaoet 
written by I>r. Garden apd DIk.: 
Qiakaimi^ and repoduteji oa heh|JiC 



of themselves and of the General 
Assembly, the imputed desire for 
the abolition of patronage, stating 
that the great object of the church, 
^hich she could not abandon, was 
only to prevent the intrusion of 
ministers on recliedming congre- 
gations, and the interference of the 
dvil courts in matters spiritual. 
Another letter was from Mr. Cand- 
lish which, whi]e it expressed the 
ttdherenee of the writer, on prin- 
dfdei to anti-patronage views, 
pmessed his willingness for the 
flUke of the peace and security of 
the church to acquiesce in a mea- 
iurtf for a settlement of the ques- 
tkftk Upon the more moderate and 
limited basis. The noble duke 
then explained, that the object of 
ih« bill he now proposed was to 
give efibct to the principle of non- 
intrusion on the right of the con- 
gregation CO give their approval or 
distent, to the appointment of any 
presentee that might be offered 
them by the patron. He said he 
Adt convinced that unless some 
measure to this effect were passed, 
the most lamentable consequences 
to the church of Seotland would 
esoBue, and there could be no doubt 
tlMit a seeession of a large number 
of the Baembers of the church 
would take ^^e, while if the 
priiieiple of non-intrusion were 
coBceoed, the surest means would 
be ti^en to put an end to the agi- 
tatioa of these who were opposed 
to patronage altogether. The noble 
dake cenduded by an earnest ap- 
peal to their lordships, on the 
nrgeat importance of the subject, 
ana having moved the first reading 
of the bill, said he should wait to 
mofe the second reading until the 
me«tisg of the General Assembly 
kfld tatoit place. 

Lotd Aberdeen «nd, that the 
ol^ of the oebk ^uke'a b^ wai^ 

neither more nor less than to 
legalize the veto, and that under 
circumstances more objectionable 
than its original language. It 
provided that if a majority of the 
male heads of families in a parish 
should go before the presbytery 
and state their objections to the 
" call," the presbytery should be 
compelled to reject the presentee, 
although no reason for the objec- 
tion had been stated. He (lord 
Aberdeen) wished to give full 
expression to the genuine and 
honest feelings and wishes of the 
people in these matters, but he 
could not give his support to a 
measure which might lead to the 
monstrous consequence of com. 
pelling the presbytery to reject a 
presentee, though he were objected 
to for no other reason than because 
he had been presented, or because 
he had been compelled to take the 
oath of allegiance. Such conces- 
sions, if made, would never be 
satisfactory or 6nal, and the agi- 
tation which had been carried on 
did not give the parties who 
claimed this concession a title to 
any such favour. 

Lord Dunfermline would oppose 
the measure, which, he believed, 
contained the seeds of future agi- 
tation. He had all his life been 
an advocate of liberal measures, 
and in resisting this bill, he con- 
ceived he was promoting the cause 
of toleration, peace, and religious 

The Marquess of Breadalbane 
expressed his intention to support, 
and the earl of Haddington to 
oppose, the bill, which was then 
read ii first time. 

On the 27 th May, the meeting 
of the General Assembly of the 
Church of Scotland took place, and 
the case of the seven clergymen of 
the presbytery of Strathbegie nn^ 


der libel of the church courts came 
under cor.sideration. The par. 
ticulars of this case, which has 
excited so much interest, may be 
stated in a few words. Their 
alleged offence consisted in having 
set at nought the provisions of a 
law passed by the diurch of Scot- 
land, in 1834, and commonly 
known as the Veto Act. A Mr. 
£dwards had been presented by 
the lawful patron of the parish of 
Mamoch, but a majority of the 
male heads of families having ex- 
ercised their veto against the 
presentee, the seven ministers, 
members of the presbytery of 
Strathbogie, refused to admit him. 
Thus rejected, Mr. Edwards had 
recourse to the civil tribunal and 
succeeded in obtaining a decree of 
the supreme civil court against the 
recusant presbytery. Placed in 
this dilemma between the conflict- 
ing forces of civil and ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction^ each of which respec- 
tively denied the competency of 
the other, the seven Strathbogie 
ministers took that course which 
they considered the more impera- 
tive duty, yielded obedience to the 
law of the land, and admitted the 
presentee. For this ofience they 
were now placed at the bar of the 
General Assembly, and their coun. 
sel addressed the court in their 
defence. When he had concluded. 
Dr. Chalmers rose, and in a speech 
of great length moved the depo- 
sition of the above seven persons 
from the holy ministry. He de- 
nied that the assembly could take 
any other course, after the past 
conduct of the Strathbogie pres- 
bytery, and said that no subse- 
Quent arrangement of the existing 
oifference between the church and 
the government could have any 
influence upon their present deci. 
lion. He dwelt ujK^n the dis- 

tinction between two things which, 
he said, had been much con- 
founded, viz. the church's principle 
of non-intrusion in the disposal of 
her preferment, and her right of 
jurisdiction in matters purely ec- 
clesiastical. The present questbn 
belonged to the latter category- 
being simply an exercise of the 
church's judicial authority on her 
refractory members. He depre- 
cated the mode by which the state 
was endeavouring to carry on the 
contest by a war of interdicts and 
processes. ''Better than this surely 
that the legislature should let us 
know, from their own mouth, what 
their understanding is of our fool- 
ing as a national church; or, 
which is the same thing, on what 
terms they are willing to continue 
with us the endowments and pri- 
vileges of an establishment^ and 
then shall we as distinctly under- 
stand whether, on the principles 
of a Christian church we can 
accept or should decline these 
terms. This is the fair» honest, 
aboveboard, and, let me add, gen- 
tlemanly style of proceeding, and 
far more creditable, surely, than 
this attempt to bear us down, by 
letting loose upon the church the 
agents and executioners qi£ law. 
Were it an ordinary question of 
common or statute law I could 
understand it ; but it is the hat 
higher question of jurisdiction 
which has arisen — - a questkm 
which should only be settled on 
the higher arena of parliamenty 
instead of being suspended on the 
issue of a combat between* the co- 
ordinate courts to fight and ful« 
minate against each other— >they 
with an apparatus of pains and 
penalties which are formidable to 
nature— we, with nothins at oom<* 
mand but those spiritual ezoom- 
municationsj against which natoxt 



lifts her stout and contemptuous 
defiance. There is only one right 
way of cutting short this per- 
plexity. There must, on our 
part^ be resolute principle and 
resolute endurance in the mean- 
time, and^ then we shall know 
what to do when once the legis- 
lature has spoken, — whether, on 
the one hand, they shall keep it 
possible for conscientious men to 
work their endowed institute ; or, 
on the other^ they shall charm the 
hearts of Radicals and Voluntaries, 
by letting the world know that 
any national establishment of theirs 
implies an utter prostration of the 
ecclesiastical to the secular power." 
He then enlarged on the enormity 
of the offence committed by the 
suspended parties against the rights 
and authority of tne church, and 
the impossibility of any compro- 
mise on such a question of prin- 
ciple. " The church of Scotland/' 
he said^ *^ can never give way, and 
will sooner give up her existemce as 
a national establishment than give 
up her powers as a self-acting and 
self-regulating body, to do what 
in her judgment is best for the 
honour of the Redeemer, and the 
interest of his kingdom upon earth. 
We can see no other alternative. 
If these men do not humble them- 
selves, their deposition is inevitable. 
The church of Scotland cannot 
tolerate, and, what is more, it 
could not survive, the scandal of 
quietly putting up with a delin- 
quency so enormous as that into 
which these brethren have fallen." 

Dr. Cook, on the opposite side, 
in an elaborate speech, proposed a 
counter-motion, to dismiss the 
ministers at the bar, and confirm 
ihem in their present rank of 
ministers of the church of Scotland. 

Afifcer a long debate the vote 
wai agreed tO| when there ap* 

peared, for Dr. Chalmers' motion 
222 J for Dr. Cook's motion 125— 
majority for the deposition of the 
seven ministers ^7. 

After passing this sentence, the 
Assembly proceeded to declare the 
parishes vacant, and they also sen- 
tenced Mr. Edwards to be deprived 
of his license as a minister of 
the church. Thus ejected from 
their benefices by the decree of the 
General Assembly, the seven mi- 
nisters appealed to parliament. A 
petition from them was presented 
on '^the Idth of June, by lord 
Aberdeen in the house of lords, in 
which they called upon the house 
to save them, by its interference, 
from the consequences of the 
sentence which had been pro- 

Lord Aberdeen said, that these 
men had been deposed, simply 
because they had obeyed the law ; 
and although lord Melbourne had 
promised to uphold the law, the 
enormous expense of asserting 
their rights brought ruin upon in- 
dividuals, even if in the end those 
rights should be established. The 
question had become a public one, 
and he agreed with the peti- 
tioners, that the government was 
bound to come forward and pro- 
tect them. 

Lord Melbourne, although he 
deeply regretted the state of the 
Scotch church, and especially the 
circumstances of the petitioners, 
defended the conduct of govern- 
ment in abstaining from all legis- 
lation on the subject. It would 
have been an intenerence with the 
internal affairs of the church, and 
the consequences would have been 
most injurious. Lord Aberdeen 
had said that the church of Rome 
never carried its presumption far- 
ther than the church of Scotland 
had done on this occasion^ *^ but the 


church of Scotland/' said lord 
Melbourne, *^ was equal to the 
church of Rome at any day, of 
which many instances could be 
produced from history.'* {Laugh" 
ter.) The question, however, at 
issue was a most difficult one, but 
it was the wish of the government 
to enforce the law, and he had no 
doubt that the lord advocate had 
done, and would do, all that his 
duty required of him. 

Lord Haddington remarked upon 
the studious evasion of any opi« 
nion by lord Melbourne. He "had 
confined himself to a simple ex*' 
preasion of sympathy with the 
petitioners, and beyond this he had 
said nothing) 9s he had done 
nothings He bad spoken of en<« 
forcing the law, but it was plain 
that his idea of enforcing the law 
was to abstain from interfer^ee. 
in consequence of his constant 
vacillation it was, that matters had 
assumed so formidable a character, 
and even now, when the GHnieral 
Assembly h«d gone the l^gth of 
^pointing a roving commission to 
re^t the law whenever it thought 
there was a fit opportunity, they 
had no assurance that the lord 
advocate would interfere. 

Lord Normanby defended the 
lord advocate ; and lord Breadal« 
bane and the duke of Argyle 
d^recated any interference, until 
the courts of law had come to a 
decidon on the whole merits of the 

Lord Brougham eould not ima- 
gine any course more directly 
calculated to encourage the law- 
breakers ia Scotland in their reost- 
ance to the ccMwtituted authoritie» 
than that the case should be allowed 
to rest in the bands of the govern- 
ment. He could not eoncdve 
anything less satia&etory to those 
yihfx wished t(^ sqs the Iftw i«<( 

spected.* A declaratory measure 
was in no way called for. The 
question had been decided by the 
Court of Session, and their decision 
had been affirmed by thdr lord^ 
ships as a Ck)urt of Appeal in the 
last resort i it had been declared 
and acted upon by the proper legal 
authorities, and nothing remained 
but that it should be put in f&c6t. 

Lord Melbourne eontended, that 
the government had executed, atid 
would execute, the law. The best 
way to do so, was to leave the kw 
to execute itself. 

Lord Brougham replied, that 
the intentions expressed If tibe 
government and the tendeni^ 0f 
their actions, were precisdy dm* 
trary. They professed a desire to 
execute the law, but both thelp 
speeches and their conduct tended 
only to encourage those who rio* 
lated it. If they were really 
desirous of acting up to their proM 
fessions, they should give direcnons 
to the agents and law offieers of 
the crown in Scotland to vdleve 
those who were oppressed by 
wrongodoers from the coats and 
risk A resisting oppression. The 
petition was lakl on the table. 

About the same timie at whicAi 
this discussicm took plaee in the 
House of Lords, lai^ and influential 
meetings were h^ at Edidbnrgb^ 
at Glasgow, and at other plaetfl^ 
at which strong resolutions were 
passed, reprobating the prececdiiige 
of the Assembly and sympathisBiif 
with the situatioii of the dmses 
ministers. On the other land, 
the non-intrusioB party were not 
backward in appealing to the pew 
pular sympathy in behalf <^ their 
cause. Deputationa of the Icadiwg 
champions of those pfikiciples were 
sent about to convene meednga^ 
and rouse public feeling in simport 
of the menarad Ukertiee ot the 



kirk. The language which was 
cmpbjed for Mm purpose was^ cer- 
tainly, in some instances, of no 
measured character* One sample 
nay suffice, from the fervid oration 
of a delegate of the non-intrusion 
party sent into the North of Ire- 
land, who thus addressed a meeting 
held in a ppeshyterian church at 

*' Qur opponents, in their head- 
kmg advocacy of the civil law, 
assert that^ even though all the 
peopio of a parish should protest. 
We must ordain ; that, though not 
a solitary communicant should 
attend the church, we must ordain ; 
thatf thoudi the hayonets should 
bristle in tne churchyard, we must 
ordain ; that, though the carbines 
of the cavalry should be discharged 
among our assembled people, we 
must ordain; that, though the 
dragoons should cut their way to 
the church thiaugh Scottish hearts^ 
we must ordain. This is what our 
enemies say. And what is my 
reply ^ It is this — Before my 
Gkid, before my church, before the 
peofde, and before the world, I 
ne^er will ordain. {Vehement 
ch€€rmg,) « * » » 

^' I ^ve stood in a wild castle, 
em Ike sea-shore of my native dis- 
trict, in the dungeons of which 
the martyrs of the faith lay till 
thfif ratted— where they heard no 
siamd savQ the howling of the 
wipdSy and the roar of the billows 
of tha Qerman ocean* I have 
descendied into those dark cells, 
and placed my fingers in the walls 
where th^y were confined. Chains 
vrefo scarce in those times — they 
wev^ in uroent Remand ; and, in* 
stead of Ottering the csqptives, 
tkny t^ thoir arms above their 
hea^ and, $(>ircing their thumbs 
ks^ two hples in like wall, wedged 
tliMi £^ wi;ih p«(ec«a pf w^ 

crushing them till the blood and 
marrow oozed out. I have stood, 
my friends, in those places of 
horrible recollection : but, sooner 
should these hands be crushed by 
those revolting processes of cruelty, 
than they should be placed on the 
head of an Edwards." (Great 

Among the topics of discussion 
in the House of Lords, in the early 
part of the session, was one which 
arose upon the subject of an ordi« 
nance of lord Sydenham as gover** 
nor of the Canadas, whereby the 
Roman Catholic seminary of St« 
Sulpice, in Lower Canada, was 
incorporated, and the seignory of 
the island of Montreal confirmed 
to that institution. A petition 
was presented to the house, by the 
bishop of Exeter, against this or- 
dinance, signed by all the pro^ 
testant clergy of Montreal, by 
eighteen out of the twenty-four 
magistrates, by two members of 
the Special Council, and by the 
solicitor-general of Lower Canada. 

The bishop, in a speech which 
occupied two hours cmd a half in 
the delivery, contended that the 
ordinance was illegal and uncon. 
stitutional, transferring property, 
which legally belonged to the 
crown, to a Roman Catholic instit 
tution, and thus giving an encou-* 
ragement to popery which had 
never before been ventured upoi^ 
The bishop said, he regarded this 
as one of the recent encroachments 
of Rome. Bigot they might 
think him, but he believed there 
never was a time when such 
gigantic strides were made by 
Rome to regain her lost poweiPj 
nor a time when they were me| 
by such utter indi£^ence on the 
part of the executive government 
of a prolestant country. He wished 
ke coold £BHirly sc^r wilb v^Mn 


ference— -he should rather say, 
with fondness and partiality. The 
people of Montreal, he said, looked 
on the ordinance as a violation of 
good faith tx)wards those who had 
held the Lower Province at the risk 
of their lives. 

Lord Melbourne contended that 
the rights of the seminary of St. Sul- 
pice to the estates, were confirmed 
by a possession of seventy years, and 
by many acts by which their claims 
were recognised. If this did not 
constitute a right, and supersede 
all previous claims, there was 
nothing fixed or stable amongst 
mankind. The bishop had charged 
the government with a deliberate 
intention to favour the advance- 
ment of the church of Rome. Vis- 
count Melbourne said he could 
only deny that such was the fact 
He did not deny that that church 
showed a disposition to make rapid 
strides. But was this the case 
with no other church ? Had the 
presbyterian church of Scotland 
or the protestant church of Eng- 
land shown no signs of the spirit 
of domination ? If the right 
reverend prelate had generalised 
his statement a little more, there 
would not be much difference of 
opinion between them. He trusted 
their lordships would look at the 
ordinance as an attempt to secure 
a fair settlement of an important 
question without disturbing the 
tranquillity of the Canadian pro- 

The duke of Wellington con- 
tended, that whatever the equitable 
title of the seminary might be, it 
was not a l^al body, nor had it 
in fact any legal title. In order 
to give this title the corporation 
had been created : which deprived 
the crown of its legal claims to the 
estates. He regarded the ordi- 
nance as involving a total departure 

from the principles of the Reforma- 
tion, which had been maintained 
in Canada ever since its acquisi- 
tion. He denied the right to 
transfer the property by ordi- 
nances. It had been formally 
made over to the assembly of Ca- 
nada -by the Act of Union, and 
the British government had no 
right to dispose of it under an 
ordinance, which was in other re- 
spects unconstitutionaL The noble 
duke referred to his opinion for- 
merly expressed, that the measure 
for the union of the two provinces 
had been premature-— he did not 
now press that opinion, but he 
entreated their lordsh^ to give 
their best consideration during the 
interval which would elapse before 
this question came again before the 
house, to a subject which involved 
some of the most important prin- 
ciples, especially with reference to 
the religious institutions of the 
country, that ever came under the 
notice of the legblature. 

Some days afterwards the bishop 
of Exeter renewed his opposition 
by a motion for an address to the 
crown, to withhold the royal sanc- 
tion from the ordinance of lord Sv- 
denham. He contended again at 
great length, that it was ill^al, 
unconstitutional, without prece- 
dent, and unjust towards the 
province which it affected. The 
amount of the property in qoestion, 
he stated at about 30,000/. per 
annum., which, in a country 
where there was no provision for 
the poor, would enable the Roman 
Catholic ecclesiastics to plant the 
standard of their church triumph- 
antly throughout the province. 
He argued that when Canada was 
ceded to the British, the rights 
which the French king then pos- 
sessed, devolved, fay the right of 
oonquestj 1o tluB Engjlish crown* 



As the seminary had been endowed 
by the deed of Louis 14th, for 
propagating the established religion 
of Fiance among the Indians, so, 
by the right of conquest, the sove- 
reign of Great Britain acquired 
the right of applying the funds of 
the seminary, towards the esta- 
blished religion of his own king. 
dom. Not that he (the bishop of 
Exeter) asserted that it was the 
bounden duty of the crown of 
England to seize the whole funds 
to protestant purposes: a portion 
of the property might have been 
reasonably conceded to the original 
purposes of the seminary, but, at 
least, a portion should have been 
appropriated in the exercise of the 
crown's unquestionable right, to 
the religious instruction of pro- 
testants. The crown, however, 
had no longer the disposal of this 
property: for its claim had been 
simendered, along with other 
crown rights, to the legislature of 
the United Province in considera- 
tion of the civil list. The or- 
dinance, he contended, clearly 
amounted to a violation of the Act 
of Supremacy. The incorporation 
of the seminary of St. Nicolet, 
during the colonial administration 
of lord Bathurst, in the reign of 
George the 4th, formed no prece- 
dent for this, being distinguished 
by the circumstance that St. Ni- 
colet was a lay incorporation, 
whereas the present, being an An- 
corporation for strictly ecclesiastical 
purposes, which was the true dis. 
tinction in law, was an ecclesias- 
tical corporation; and he denied 
the right to incorporate a popish 
institution of that nature, salvd 
repuhUc^, in this country, or in 
any of its dependencies. To pass 
this measure, would be to commit 
a great national crime, in fact, to 
papalise whole provinces in de- 

fiance of the fundamental laws of 
the land. 

The marquess of Normanby said, 
that the bishop of Exeter had all 
along assumed, in respect to this 
ordinance, that it was a mere whim 
of lord Sydenham's. Why, one of 
the very reasons for which lord 
Sydenham had asked an extension 
of the powers of the Special Council 
was, that it could not render per- 
manent an ordinance which was 
introduced under sir John Col- 
bourne's government, to give effect 
to the arrangement that had been 
made with the seminary of St. 
Sulpice. The seminary surren- 
dered a considerable part of its 
property, in order that it might 
enjoy the advantages held out by 
the ordinance. There had been a 
bargain which had been fulfilled 
on one side. The value of the 
property granted to the corpora- 
tion had been extremely exagge- 
rated ; it did not exceed 260,(XK)/. 
currency at the very utmost. Lord 
Normanby then proceeded to prove, 
that the rights of ecclesiastical 
seignories had been confirmed and 
recognised at the capitulation in 
1759, by the treaty of Paris, 
which left the priests of St. Sul- 
pice in the enjoyment of the same 
privileges with those of the sister 
institution at Paris : by the Act of 
1774, which was passed without 
any opposition from the bishops in 
the House of Lords, while in the 
House of Commons it was expressly 
denounced by col. Barre, because 
it made the Roman Catholic the 
established religion of the pro- 
vince: and in 1792, Mr. Burke 
spoke of his having voted for '* an 
establishment of the church of 
England conjointly with an esta- 
blishment made some years ago by 
Act of Parliament, of the Roman 
Catholics in the French conquered 


country of Can&da." Lord Nor- 
manby maintained^ that the semi- 
nary of St. Nicolet, incorporated 
under instructions from. lord Ba- 
thurst, was a valid precedent fbr 
this ordinance. That corporation 
consisted entirely of ecclesiastics ; 
and if its objects were partly^ edu- 
cational, so were those of St. Sul- 
pice. This ordinance made strict 
provision for the visitation of the 
corporation^ and an account of its 
expenditure, as well as its rules 
and regulations, were to be sub* 
mitted to the Governor for the 
time being. In conclusion, he re- 
minded the house that this semi- 
nary existed on the faith of the 
assurances given by all govern- 
ments from the date of the act of 
1744 to the present time. 

The earl of Ripon said, he was 
at a loss to guess the grounds on 
.which they were called upon to 
disallow the ordinance by which 
tliey would seriously endanger the 
peace and harmony of Canada* 
When he went to the Colonial 
Office^ iie found the seminary in 
peaceable possession of all the ad- 
vantages which were to be con- 
firmed by this ordinance. 

The duke of Wellington said, 
that he was satisfied that no one 
could dispute the equitable title of 
the seminary of St. Sulpice to a 
part of this property. He had 
indeed been disposed to think that 
the bulk of it had been made over 
hy the Act of Union to the pro- 
vinces ; but when he expressed his 
opinion to that eiFect, he had not 
been aware of many former trans- 
actions relating to the seminary, to 
some of which he had been himself 
a party, but which he had since for- 
gotten. Until he saw the papers 
now on the table of the house, he 
had not the least notion that the 
ordinance in question was but a 

copy of former transacticms. He 
could see no distinction between 
the present incorporation of St. 
Sulpice and that of St^ Nioolet, 
which took place when he was 
himself in the Calnnet. He bad 
also been a party to the despatch 
of lord Aberdeen in 1835, to 
which no man who had been n 
concurrent party could coU^tenlly 
object, on account of reli^ous priti- 
ciples, to this ordinance^ He there- 
fore could not now stand upon the 
grounds which he had taken on 
the former night in opposition to 
this ordinance. He had then en- 
treated the house to look into the 
documents referred to by the bishop 
of Exeter; lie had hims^ done 
so, and he had in addition looked 
into some other documents which 
ought likewise to have been re- 
ferred tpi and the conclusion to 
which he had arrived was a resolu- 
tion to vote against ihi present 

After this frank and dharacter- 
istic speech of the duke of Wel- 
lington, the bishop of Exeter with- 
drew his motion. 

A motion was made on the 2nd 
March by Mr. Colquhoun. for leave 
to bring in a bill to amend the Acts 
of 35 Geo. 3rd. c. 21, and 40 Geo. 
3rd. c. 85, of the Irish parliament, 
relating to the college of May- 
nooth. By the first of these Acts 
a body of trustees were appointed, 
a majority of whom were to be 
l&ytaen, composed partly of pro- 
testants. They had the appoint- 
ment of the professors, and they 
drew up the rules of the coUege. 
By the same Act a numba of 
persons, comprising the principal 
functionaries of the realm, the 
chancellor and judges of Ireland, 
were constituted visiters of the ecJ- 
lege, and the Lord-lieutenant was 
directed to receive the reports miAe 



bj thenu But by the subsequent 
Act, the 40 Geo. 3rd. e. 85, the 
olneets contemplated by Mr. Pitt, 
wnibh had in view, first, a control 
by the laity over the college, and 
secondly, a control on the part of 
the government, were unhappily 
frustrated. The latter Act reversed 
the whole arrangement, deprived 
the government of all control, 
turned the visitation into a com- 
lete farce, and ctmsigned an un- 
dted power to the trustees, of 
whom, under this Act, four-fifths 
were Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, 
with the right of filling up their 
number when vacancies arose. He 
thought that the time had now 
arrived, when the sentiments ex. 
pressed out of doors with reference 
to the college of Maynooth, should 
find an echo within those walls, 
and when the sanction hitherto 
given to that college by the legis- 
lature should be finally withdrawn. 
tie was sure that no man would 
for a moment say, that Mr. Pitt 
and lord Castlereagh would have 
lent themselves to the establish- 
ment of such a system, if they 
could have foreseen such results as 
the present generation had wit- 
nessed. The writers whose works 
were the class-books at Maynooth, 
taught doctrines the most opposed 
to loyalty towards the crown, to 
the peace of the state, and to 
religious freedom. Mr. Colquhoun 
then cited passages from the writ- 
ings of some of these authors, 
which went to dissolve tjie duty of 
allegiance towards the sovereign, 
and to sever all social bonds be- 
tween members of the church and 
iieretics. Would it be said, that 
though these hooks were read, the 
doctrines they contained were not 
inculcated? There could be no 
doubt that the priesthood educated 
at Maynooth imbibed the doctrines 

which they contained* Mr. Col- 
quhoun rderred to the evidence 
given by Mr. O'Connell in 1835, 
to that of Mr. Dennis Brown, imd 
to the work of Mr. Inglis the 
traveller, in illustration of the 
character of the Maynooth priests. 
He referred also to the evidence 
given before the committee in 
1835, with respect to the system 
of intimidation exercised by the 
Roman Catholic priesthood at elec- 
tions, and which, he contended, 
afibrded a practical illustration of 
the doctrines which they taught. 
In no other country in Europe 
were the priests allowed to de- 
nounce men from the altarj and 
hold them up to execration, but 
the priests of Maynooth made the 
altars of their churches an instru- 
ment for destroying the liberties 
of free subjects. He repeated, 
that such practices were the result 
of the doctrines inculcated in tliose 
standard works of theology v(rhich 
were in use at Maynooth. Such a 
system parliament ought not to 
sanction, and by repealing the Acts 
which now connected Maynooth 
with the state, they ought to with- 
draw from the college all legislative 
countenance. That being done, it 
would be for the house then to say 
whether it would grant the public 
money for the support of such a 
system. All he now asked for, was 
permission to bring in a bill to 
alter and amend the Acts before 
referred to, and thereby to dissever 
the college of Maynooth from the 

Lord Morpeth said, he could not 
see the distinction attempted to be 
drawn between the Acts of 1795 
and 1800, as if the latter had 
broken the compact entered into 
between the Roman Catholic body 
in Ireland and the state. Mr. Pitt 
was in office when the latter Act 


passed ; he accepted that Act, and 
adopted it as part of the compact 
entered into at the Union. Mr. 
Colquhoun had stated that, in other 
European states^ the civil power 
had imposed restrictions upon the 
Roman Catholic clergy with re- 
spect to the inculcation of certain 
doctrines, hut in those countries 
where the state controlled the 
clergy^, it also supported them; 
and before the honourable member 
attempted to impose conditions on 
their teachine here> he ought, in- 
stead of seeling to reduce the 
miserable stipend bestowed on them 
by the state^ to propose some more 
adequate means for maintaining 
them. As to the extracts from 
writers whose works were read at 
^e coDege, he believed that they 
were read there in the time of Mr. 
Pitt ; at all events in the time of 
Mr. Perceval^ who had supported 
the grant* It might be that those 
works contained many things which 
neither he (Viscount Morpeth) nor 
Mr. Colquhoun would approve, but 
this proved nothing, for it was cer- 
tain that the object which Mr. 
Pitt had in view in establishing 
the seminary was the education, in 
their own country, of Roman Ca- 
tholic ecclesiastics ; and, therefore, 
unless it were proved that doc- 
trines were taught, or practices 
inculcated at variance with the 
recognised principles of the Romish 
church, no case was established for 
the interference of parliament* No 
such charge, however, had been 
made against the college of May- 
nooth. The noble viscount then, 
for the purpose, as he said, of illus- 
trating his argument, referred to 
the Tracts recently published at 
Oxford, respecting which he read 
a long extract from a theological 
Review, in which those publications 
were strongly reprobated, as being 

of decidedly popish tendency, and 
subversive of the principles of the 
Reformation. With respect to the 
conduct of the Roman Catholic 
priesthood in Ireland, though he 
agreed with Mr. Colquhoun in 
disapproving of the practice of 
holding men up to execration at 
the altar for political objects, yet 
when he looked at the general 
fruits of their teaching in the con- 
duct of the Irish people, whose 
men exhibited more sobriety, their 
females more chastity, and both 
more patience under suffering, than 
any other portion of the inhabit- 
ants of these islands, he could not 
join in the indiscriminate cenitures 
pronounced upon them. He thought 
it desirable that the house should 
see the intentions of the opposite 
party towards Ireland developed, 
and therefore recommended that 
Mr. Colquhoun should be allowed 
to introduce his Bill, that they 
might see what it contained* 

Sir R. H. Inglis could not sufier 
the allusion made by the noble 
viscount to the university which 
he represented, and which so gross- 
ly and grievously misrepresented 
it, to pass unnoticed. The noble 
viscount had attacked the univer- 
sity of Oxford) on the score of 
certain tracts published, not hy but 
in the university. The university, 
as a body, was not responsible for 
those publications — the freedom of 
the press existed there as well as 
elsewhere ; the only question was, 
were they class-books at Oxford ? 
This was the real point of com- 
parison, as to the books used at 
Maynooth. Did any member of 
the university lecture upon those 
tracts? Did any professor put 
them into the hands of any pupil? 
He did not agree with all that had 
been stated by Mr. Colquhoun ; he 
had always opposed the grant to 



Maynooth on distinct grounds. Be- 
lieving the doctrines of the Romish 
church to he unscriptural^ he could 
never consent to aid in any course 
of instruction for his fellow-crea- 
tures therein. 

Mr. M. J. O'Connell said, he 
was perfectly indififerent, and so he 
helieved were most Roman Ca- 
thoIics> to the continuance of the 
grant of 8,000/. a-year to May- 
nooth« whidij if withdrawn, would 
soon he made up hy voluntary 
suhscriptbn. But if anything was 
to he done, he hoped it would not 
he done indirectly, hut on the prin- 
ciple avowed hy Sir R. H. Inglis, 
that they were not to pay for that 
which they did not helieve to be 
troth; and let this principle he 
applied and carried out by the 
people of Ireland. He then re- 
ferred to .a passage in a recent 
article in the Quarterly Review, 
entitled '^ Romanism in Ireland/' 
the object of which seemed to ^ 
mysteriously to insinuate the exist- 
ence of an extensive and revolting 
oonspiracy in Ireland. The state- 
ments made in this article Mr. 
M. J. O'Connell entered into at 
some length, with the view of 
showing &at they were destitute 
of foundation. He concluded by 
▼Indicating the character of the 
Irish priesthood, as challenging 
comparison with the clergy of any 
church, whether paid by the state 
or otherwise. 

Mr. Langdale explained the dis- 
tinction which existed in the Ro. 
man Catholic church between the 
duties of temporal and spiritual 

Mr. O'Connell commenced his 
qpeech by stating, in the most dis- 
tinct and emphatic manner, that 
he believed in every word that was 
taught at Maynooth, but he dis- 
avowed the doctrines that had 


been imputed to the Roman Ca- 
tholics that night, and which had 
been disowned and disavowed over 
and over again. They had been 
told that night of the disregard of 
the Roman Catholics for oaths. 
Had the assertion been made any- 
where but in that house, he would 
have said that it was " as false as 
hell." Mr. O'Connell then en- 
tered into a variety of theological 
arguments, and declared that all 
diSerence between the Cisalpine 
and Ultra-Montane schools was 
at an end; and that all Roman 
Catholics now recognised in its 
fullest extent, the spiritual author- 
ity of the pope. The consequence 
was, that their religion was ex- 
tending in every country in the 
world, while there was no country 
in which that could be said of Pro- 
testantism. He maintained that 
the Irish priesthood had a perfect 
right to interfere in elections, and 
to speak from their altars in con- 
demnation of perjury and bribery. 
Further than that no priest had 
gone, and he defied any one to 
prove the contrary. In conclusion 
he said, he had been compelled by 
the turn which the discussion had 
taken to look at the question more 
than he could have wished in a 
polemical point of view, but po- 
lemics having been introduced by 
others, he felt that, standing in the 
presence of that God before whom 
he might so soon appear, he could 
not am)rd to give up one tittle of 
the faith which was his consolation 
and hope, and which, while he had 
breath, he would never cease to 
uphold and maintain; a faith 
which had been the faith of some 
of the greatest names in history ; 
a faith which, in his firm belief, 
was fated to endure for all time ; a 
faith which, to use the eloquent 
words of a recent publication. 



would be found standing when 
some traveller from New Zealand 
shall take his stand in the midst 
of a vast solitude on the broken 
arches of London bridge, to sketch 
the ruins of St. Paul's." 

He cordially supported the mo- 
tion for leave to bring in the bill, 
though he did not believe the hon- 
ourable gentlemen ever would 
bring it in. 

The motion was agreed to. 

On a subsequent Aaj, Mr. Col- 
quhoun brought in his bill, which 
was read a first time, but was not 
further proceeded with this session. 

The subject of church-rates 
twice underwent discussion in the 
House of Commons in the course 
of the session. One of these 
occasions was on a motion made 
by Mr. Easthope, with reference 
to the case of a person named 
Bainefi, who was at that time im- 
prisoned in Leicester gaol for non- 
payment of a church-rate of 2/. 
ids, and costs, in the ecclesiastical 
court. Mr. Easthope's notice of 
motion was simply ^* that the pe- 
tition of William Baines be taken 
into consideration," the House was 
therefore somewhat taken by sur- 
prise when he moved a resolution 
to the effect that Mr. Baines* im- 
prisonment being inflicted for his 
refusal to pay a demand which was 
contrary to his conscience, was a 
violation of the principles of re. 
ligious liberty. A debate of some 
length took place, in which lord 
John Russell and k\r Robert Peel 
concurred in objecting to acknow- 
ledge the principle that the enforce- 
ment of obedience to an existing 
law is a violation of conscience. 
The only true principle, said sir 
Robert Peel, is this — that while 
the law exists it must be obeyed. 
Mr. Hume and Mr. Hawes sup- 
ported the motion, and pressed the 

government to declare their inten- 
tion of doing away with church- 
rates. On a division, the numbers 
were, ayes 40 ;— noes 45 ;— maJcHr- 
ity against Mr. Easthope's resolu- 
tion 5. Doubtless if the nature 
of the motion intended to be 
brought forward had been made 
known beforehand, a much larger 
number of members would have 
been present 

Mr. Easthope subsequently 
brought forwaid a motion for 
leave to bring in a bill for the 
abolition of church-rates. After 
urging the usual arguments against 
the existing state of things-— the 
heart-burning anddiaoord panoduoed 
by the con ten tionabetween Church- 
men and Dissenters on this subject^ 
and the scandal and injury thenee 
resulting to the established cburdi 
and the cause of religion^ he ex- 
plained the substitute which he 
intended to {ffopose. He would 
ahblish church-rates, and empower 
the members of the establisbnent 
to rate themselves in respect of 
pews and seats, for the repair and 
support of the buildings in whidi 
their worship was conducted. . He 
was aware that there was another 
subject of some difficulty in con- 
nexion with this question in respect 
to churches buUt by funds derived 
from mortgage. Nobody could be 
so wild as to wish to violate the 
faith of Parliament, and this point 
might be a fit matter for coonder* 
ation by a committee. Of coarse, 
where individuals had adva&ced 
money on the faith oi acts of Par- 
liament, it would be impossihle to 
interfere with their ri^t% or to 
apply the proposed law until the 
money had been repaid. 

Viscount Morpeth, on the part 
of the government said, he should 
raise no objection to the introduc- 
tion of the bill. He was pcvftctly 



alife to the evib of the present 
system and its practical results, but 
he vronld not ccmsent to leave the 
nmintenance of the parish chureh 
m » tiiere mttter <^ choice and 
optioa ; and Mr. Easthope's hill 
prorided no substitute for the de» 
Mency which might arise fVom the 
totel aMition of church-rates. 
He iiiould not therefore pledge 
hifMOlf to iti providons, but be 
Mi bound to taJce into considera- 
tion ^Tery pvopositioA for the set- 
tlement of the question. 

1^ R* H. Inglis siud, the pro*i 
Tidott proposed atf a substitute fw 
diunmrate^ wad as vain and 
illuiory as the worst enemi^ of 
fbe cbufth oould desire. He oen- 
autod the gorerliAi&nt fof assenting 
to the introduction of a bill Which 
oould nev^ readi a second reading, 
and imimited a belief that this 
MsanI Was giiNn with a view to 
tb6 p t e i bp t political driais* To 
dbow that the popular repres^td- 
tkiAa on the subject Were very 
mueli exagflefatedi he said that hie 
found oat of ld,000 parishes in the 
coiitttfy# but fourteen, in which 
fheta Were any law-suits about 
ciiorch*nite«» Until the law of 
tlie question had been definitively 
settled, he thought it unadvisable 
that Parliament should interfere. 

Mr< Goulbum would not oppose 
tha introduction of the bill ; though 
hb would not sanction its provis- 
ions, which went to impose taxa- 
tion cipon all who went regularly 
to diurch. Mr. Plumtre likewise 
said he would not oppose the first 

I>r« Lushiogton pronounced it 
impossible that the law oould con- 
luioe in its present stat6« What- 
ever the isBue of the Braintree case 
migbt be, he agreed with the chief 
jastioe of the Common Pleas, that 
dintch-rates were at this moment 

a l^;al tax, and that they oould be 
by law enforced. They were estabr 
lidied at a time when the whole 
population of the country belonged 
to the established church, and were 
retained at the Reformation. The 
Dissenters nOw considered this state 
of things a hardship, and in this 
feeling many Churchmen partici- 
pated ; and their grievances ought 
to be redressed. After some fur- 
ther debate, leave was given to 
bring in the bill* In consequence 
however of the abrupt termination 
of the session no further proceeding 
on the subject took place. 

A motion was made just bef(»« 
Easter) by Mr. £ warty for an ad- 
dress to the ctowni praying for the 
appointment of a Minister of 
Education. He wished that such 
minister should be a member of 
the House of Commons, and should 
annually ky before it a statement 
of the eondition and prospects of 
the education of the people. A 
niinister of public instruction was 
to be found in almost every foreign 
kingdom, who regularly made such 
reports to the Crown. A practice 
which he would adopt with only 
this alteration, that the reports 
should be made to the representa- 
tives of the people. Such a min. 
ister aught to mix and associate 
with the educational institutions 
of the country^ but by no means 
to control them* He regretted the 
niggardliness of the grant now 
made by the state for education, 
amounting only to 30,000Z. a year, 
and called on the House to be more 
liberal. There would be much 
valuable information furnished by 
the new municipalities and by the 
Factory Inspectors to the proposed 
minister. Through the same chan- 
nel also migbt be conveniently 
transmitted the reports of the 
Inspectors of Prisons, and it migbt 



be the means of conveying likewise 
much valuable information relative 
to schools of art and design. This 
country did not, like most of the 
continental states, present in its 
varied districts, public libraries 
for tUb use of all classes of the 
people; but it would be one of 
the objects of such an appointment 
as he proposed, to provide greater 
facilities of information, and the 
minister to be appointed, would 
usefully communicate with foreign 
countries upon the general subjects 
of instruction. Of all schools the 
most important were normal ones — 
those which educated schoolmasters. 
But the whole people required a 
provision for their instruction; a 
great proportion of them in the ru- 
ral districts, being in a state, as he 
believed, of benighted and batted 
ignorance. He would have a yearly 
exposition of the state and progress 
of education, like the budget of 

Mr. Smith O'Brien seconded the 
motion. He referred to statistical 
documents to show, that crime 
chiefly abounded where education 
had been most scanty. 

Sir George Grey on the part of 
the government, opposed the mo- 
tion, not because he objected to 
its principle, but on account of the 
difficulties attendant on its execu- 
tion. He did not think it expedient 
to revive those differences on the 
subject of education which were 
now dormant. Soon after Easter 
there would be laid before the 
House from the education com- 
mittee of the privy council, in- 
formation which would go far to 
fulfil, for this year, the object of 
the motion ; and he hoped that in 
a house thinned by the near ap- 
proach of the holydays, the mover 
would not press a division, of which 
the component numbers could not 

be such as to afford a fair indication 
of the general opinion. 

Mr. Ewart acceded, and the 
motion was withdrawn. Some 
remarks which fell from sir Robert 
Peel on another occasion deserve 
to be recorded, in connection with 
the subject of popular education. 
An address which he had published 
to a literary association, established 
at Tamworth, had been made the 
subject of severe comment in aome 
anonymous letters published in the 
Times newspaper, under the signa- 
ture of '^ Catholicus ;" in which the 
views propounded by sir Robert 
Peel on the subject of intellectual 
cultivation were represented ai 
savouring too much of that utili- 
tarian spirit which trusted rather 
to scientific instruction than to re- 
ligious training, for the improve- 
ment and elevation of the working 
classes. Sir Robert Peel took 
occasion of a motion made by Mr. 
Gillon for an address to the crown 
praying that some assistance might 
be afforded to educational andscien- 
tiiic institutions for the working 
classes in large towns, to vindicate 
himself from the charges whieh his 
Tamworth address had called forth, 
and to avow his sentiments on the 
subject of popular improvement. 

'' It might be very well to talk 
of leaving large classes of the 
people in the practice of sensual 
gratification, and of low and de- 
grading enjoyments; but they 
were not to be charged with en- 
couraging infidelity and irreligion, 
who would supply a taste for ra- 
tional amusements. For his firm 
belief was, that they would be 
encouraging, not merely morality, 
but the Christian religion, by at- 
tempting to rescue the working- 
man from the contamination of low 
n del)asing habits, by convincing 
the working-classes that the paths 



of science are not forbidden ground 
to be trod exdusivelj by the rich^ 
and by showing them that these 
were not enjoyments which it was 
permitted for the wealthy alone to 
taste* CJompare the evils of leav- 
ing these working-men, as they 
now are» under the influence of 
low and degrading views, without 
the means of gaining improvement, 
and the evils of giving them access 
to good works — compare the evils 
of Uie two systems, and let any one 
decide between them. The one 
gave them the means of improve- 
ment in the arts and in science $ 
the other, instead, left them open 
to all the degrading influences 
which he had described. He had 
been a subscriber to the institution 
which he had mentioned twenty 
years ago, and his opinions had 
therefore been perfectly consistent." 

Sir Robert Peel pointed out the 
incondstency of giving children of 
twelve or thirteen years of age 
just so much education, according 
to the present system, as enabled 
them to decipher books of the worst 
description, and then withholding 
access to good books— ^ 

** The question was not whether 
they could be by law prevented 
from usmg bad books, for that was 
impossible) but if they were af-* 
fonled the facility of access to good 
books, there was that on the part 
of human nature to raise a prefer- 
ence to good over bad, which would 
make this facility a direct encour- 
agement to the adoption of what 
was good." 

These sentiments were received 
with marked applause by the 

A further mitigation of the 
Criminal Code was the only one of 
the measures introduced for the 
amelioration of the law, which 
took e&ct this sesaon. Two bills 

were introduced for this purpose 
in the House of Commons — the 
first in order by Mr. F. Kelly, who 
had unsuccessfully endeavoured to 
carry a similar measure in the pre- 
ceding year. He proposed in this 
bill, to abolish the punishment of 
death for all the crimes still capital, 
except murder and treason. His 
bill of the preceding year, he said, 
had passed through all its stages 
by considerable majorities, until 
the third reading, when it was 
rejected in a comparatively thin 
House. The object of the present 
measure was co-extensive. 

The motion was seconded by 
Mr. Ewart. 

Lord John Russell concurred in 
the opinion that some further mit- 
igation in the code of punishments 
was required ; but he could not go 
the length of abolishing capital 
punishments altogether, nor even 
to the extent of the present bill, 
which had been admitted to be 
only a step to total abolition. There 
were some offences still punishable 
with death, which hardly any one 
would think ought to be visited 
with such a penalty ; but whether 
from inadvertence, or some other 
reason, there had as yet been no 
legislation on the subject. He 
thought the government which did 
away with capital punishment in 
so many cases in 1837, and which 
had since given so much attention 
to the subject of transportation^ 
might have been left at liberty to 
consider the whole of the penal 
code, with a view to the establish-^ 
ment of an uniform and consistent 

Mr. Kelly's bill was brought in^ 
but shortly afterwards a measure 
was introduced on the part of the 
government by lord John RusselL 
In a speech of some length, with 
which he prefaced his motion, he 


iteclared his conviction of the ne- 
cessity of capital punishments in 
certain cases^ at least at present^ — 
if indeed the opinion of the public 
should change — if juries^ who were 
taken out of the body of the peo. 
pie, should bring in verdicts of 
*' not guilty " in capital ca8es> 
against the evidence and against 
the opinion of grand juries, the law 
then would fail to attain its object^ 
and would require to be changed. 
For certain offences at present the 
punishment of death was denoun* 
ced in the statute book, though it 
was in fact never executed, and he 
thought the legislature ought not 
to leave announcements of the 
punishment of death which were 
merely nominal and nugatory. He 
now proposed to bring in three 
bills-— the first to abolish the pun* 
ishment of death in certain cases 
of embezzlement, and for the of- 
fence of returning from transpor* 
tat ion. With respect to the crime 
of burning ships in the royal dock- 
yards, in some cases the offence 
was to be regarded as of a treason- 
able nature ; but where it was of 
a les6^ kind and involved no trea- 
sonable intent, he should draw a 
distinction, and that would be the 
subject of the second bill. The 
crime of rape was the subject of 
the third, and he had felt great 
difficulty in dealing with it. "Hiere 
were some caaes of this nature in 
which no one could consider death 
too severe a punishment ; but in 
others there was much difficulty, 
and juries had shown a great re« 
luctanoe in convicting on the charge 
when the consequences were so 
heavy. The judges whom he had 
consulted genendly agreed that 
ci^tal punishment ought not to 
be inflicted for this crime, and the 
returns showed that in proportion 
to the number of oases in which 

the punishment had been commu- 
ted, the proportion of convictions lo 
prosecutions had increased. He 
proposed therefore to sabstitute 
transportation for life as the pon- 
ishment of rape, in place of death. 

Mr. Kelly approved of the bill 
as far as it went, but contended 
for the superiority of hit own move 
comprehennve measure. Heob» 
jected to leaving the ofimioe of 
setting fire to ships in the royal 
dockyards cfl|ntal, which ha ndd 
was an offence against property 
merely, and had no eobiir of tiai* 
son in it. He objected also to re* 
taining the puni^ment of death 
for attempts to murder. Ha said 
juries were always glad lo evade 
convicting on this diarge if thtf 
could bring in their verdict upon 
one of minor degree, an^l therefore 
adc^ing lord John Rumdl^s own 
test of the public feeling, iusmea* 
sure was the preferable one. 

Mn Ewart argued for «ntirt 
abolition of capitid puniahwflpti> 

Mr. F. Shaw ol^ected to the 
mitigation of the law in casoi of 
rape. After some further debaftt 
leave was given to bripg ia the 

The IhU of Mr. Kelly went Oiit 
into committee, and after mwdi 
conflict of opini<m, the House pfe^ 
nounoed a negative upon thoee 
clauses respectively by which the 
crimes of firing dockyardiu Aip^ 
and naval stores, of woimdii^ with 
intent to mttrder, and of boii^aiy 
attended with violence weveeK* 
empted from capital punishmeati; 
but affirmed the exemption in the 
case of rape. 

Mr. Kelly after these dfifeaita 
declined to proceed with his bill, 
and said he would leate the govern* 
ment to deal with their own bills 
on the same su^eet Lord John 
Russell declared bii jieeohHian tf 



go on with the measures he had 
pnipoied^ and some further discus* 
sionsin hoth Houses, near the close 
of the flession^ terminated in the 
passing of the statute 4 & 5 Vict, 
chap. 56, wherehy the punishment 
of transportation for life is now 
substituted for death in all those 
cases of forgery and embezzlement 
which had before remained capital^ 
and the crime of rape is made sub^ 
ject to the same mitigated penalty* 
The latter change was much op- 
posed in the House of Juords» and 
passed by a majority of four votes 

Ax an early period of the session 
the Attomey-^neral moved for 
leave to bring in a bill to improve 
the administration of the law 
in the courts of equity ; the first 
instalment^ as he stated in his in- 
troductory remarks, of a reform 
which was intended to be hereafter 
implied to other departments of 
the law. The great delavs in the 
courts of equity wexe, however, 
the evil he first proposed to remedy » 
which were oaused hy the vastly 
increased amount of business which 
of kte years had pressed upon those 
ooort% whose judicial establish- 
ment had exoerienced no addition 
riuoe the reign of King Edward 
the lat* The arrears in the court 
of chancery now amounted to be* 
twoen 1200 and 1300 causes. 
The average interval between the 
setting down of a cause for hearing 
and its being heard^ was not less 
ibtm three years. The conse- 
quences of these procrastinations 
was great distress to individuals^ 
great encouragement to frauds and 
an immense accumulation of extra 
costs. These delays were really as 
hurtful to the practitioners as to 
the suitors. To redress these evils 
he proposed^ first the abeUtion of 
tbe equity jurisdiction of the 

court of Exchequer^ which on 
account of various disadvantages 
incident to its constitution had 
fallen into disrepute. If this court 
were abolished some substitute for 
it must, however, be provided. 
Even during its existence an in- 
crease of the judicial power in 
equity had been deemed necessary, 
and in 1828 lord Lyndburst had 
proposed a bill which he regretted 
to say was lost in the House of 
Commons, creating a new Vice- 
chancellor. If therefore the equity 
branch of the exchequer were now 
abolished, two new judges would 
be required for the business which 
would devolve upon them. Under 
the present state of things no one 
ever thought of going into a court 
of equity for sums under 100/. 
Up to this amount therefore the 
practice of the court of equity 
operated as a practical denial of 
justice. There were further mea- 
sures connected with the appellate 
jurisdicti(m of the House of Lords 
and the privy council, which it 
might be thought tbe present mea- 
sure should include, but his present 
object was to keep clear of all de- 
bateable ground, and to avoid the 
introduction of matters which 
might impede the present bill, 
which he desired to proceed with 
as expeditiously as possible. The 
object of the bill therefore which 
he now moved to introduce was 
the abolition of the equitable ju- 
risdiction of the court of Exche- 
quer, and the creation of two 
new Vice-chancellors. 

Sir £• Sugden said, that the 
appointment of two additional 
judges, as proposed by this bill, 
necessarily involved the creation of 
two new courts, with their re- 
flective bar, suite of offices, and 
separate edifices. Now, if there 
were a greater evil than a want oS 



judicial power sufficient to meet 
the exigencies of the country, it 
was in his opinion the existence of 
a greater number of courts of jus- 
tice than the business of the 
country required. From the crea- 
tion of a court of justice intended 
to be only for a temporary purpose, 
the greatest inconvenience would 
ensue. He disputed the correct- 
ness of the statements made by 
the Attorney-general with respect 
to the amount of causes in arrear, 
and the delays which he had stated 
to take place, and went into some 
detail of facts for the purpose of 
showing that the arrear vrss, in 
fact, very much less than was 
represented. He had no doubt 
that the appointment of one ad- 
ditional judge, therefore, would 
amply suffice for the object re- 
quired. It would be easy, after- 
wards, to create another court, if 
one were found insufficient; but 
not so easy to reduce the number 
if we created more than were 
needed. The office of the masters 
in chancery was that which most 
imperatively required reform, and 
the appointment of additional 
judges would be altogether value- 
ess unless this department were 
improved. The higher courts of 
appeal also must 1^ remodelled. 
The appellate jurisdiction of the 
House of Lords was, in truth, a 
great anomaly. All appeals from 
the court of chancery, were, in 
effisct appeals to the chancellor 
himself. This system was one 
which ought not to continue. At 
the same time, he did not wish to 
take away anything from the 
powers of the House cf Lords. He 
would still leave to that house its 
ultimate appellate iuri^ction, but 
be would piopoBe the appointment 
of two new equity judges, whom he 
Would Btyle> '' the lords' assistants/' 



in the House of Lords» in case of 
appeals. Such a plan, he thought^ 
would impart a great increase of 
weight and authority to the deci- 
sions of the House of Lords. He 
proposed that these two judges, 
when not occupied in the House of 
Lords, should sit in the judicial 
committee of the privy coundlj, 
which possessed at present a most 
defective constitution, being with- 
out regular judges, or fixed at- 
tings. These were the outlines 
of the plan which he intended to 
propose, not in opposition to the 
attorney-general's bill, but in ad- 
dition to it, and he should more 
for leave to introduce his boll at 
the same time as the attorney- 
general's, in order that both bills 
might be before the house at the 
same time. 

Mr. Lynch contended^ that the 
state of business in the equity 
courts at the present time, and 
the large arrears existing, fully 
demanded the appointment of two 
new equity judges as proposed by 
the Attorney-general. 

The Attorney-general, in reply^ 
vindicated the appellate juzisdic« 
tion of the House of Lords, whichj 
though it might be open to objec* 
tion in theory, the result(^his expe* 
rience had convinced him, worked 
satisfactorily in practice. He ad- 
mitted an alteration was called for 
in the judicial committee of the 
privy-council, and though he feared 
Sir £. Sugden's plan of havmg 
lords' assistants would never take 
place, he should offer no oppositioa 
to the bill, but would gladly lend 
his assistance to the objects pro^ 
posed by it. 

Leave was then eiven to both 
the Attomey-generd and Sir E. 
Sugden to Imng in their bills. 

Upon the house going into com- 
mittee on the Attorney-general'^ 



hill, some further discussion took 
place, and Sir B. Sugden renewed 
his ohjection to the appointment of 
two additional judges. The pro- 
position, however, was supported 
hj Mr. Pemherton, and the clause 
passed without a division. Con- 
sideraUe delay, however, having 
occurred in the progress of the bil^ 
the consideration of the report 
upon it was not moved till the 
9th of June, before which time 
those events had taken place, mate- 
rially affecting the relative situa- 
tion of parties in the House of 
Commons, which we shal] have 
hereafter to relate. Under these cir- 
cumstances, a proposition made by 
Sir K Sugden, with respect to the 
time at which the measure should 
come into operation, was carried 
against the strenuous opposition of 
md John Russell, who, indignant 
at his defeat, threw up the bill. 

It was revived, however, in the 
short session which . followed the 
election of the new parliament in 
the autumn, and then passed into 
a law. 

The bill of serjeant Talfourd, 
now for the third time brought 
in, to extend the period of 
copyright to literary works was 
again defeated, though not as in 
former sessions, by delay. An 
able speech of Mr. T. B. Macau- 
lay, who ojmosed the measure as 
at once ineffectual to secure the 
benefit proposed to authors, and 
injurious to the public interest, 
produced much impression on the 
house ; and the bill, the principle 
of which had been so many times 
affirmed, was now rejected on the 
second reading, by a majority of 
7: there being, for the bill 38; 
against it 45. 



Finance—- Afr, Baring's Financial SialemetU — Development of ku 
Plans for the Year-Speeches of Mr. GouWurUf and qfMu Hum€ 
and other Liberal Members — Remarks of Mr. Christopher and 
FiscQunt Sandon on the threatened change in the Corn^lawS'^lAMrd 
John Russell announces his intention to propose a moderate foped 
dutv — Speech of Sir Robert Peel, ^ Viscount Homck^and Mr. 
Lahouchere^^Preparatims on both sides for the approaching contest 
-^Proceedings of Associations attd Public Meetit^s^Avti-Gifnk'Um 
Movementf'^Union ^ interests against the Government measure-^ 
Debate in the House tf Lords on the Com-laws-^The^ Duke qf 
Buckingham quotes a Speech of Viscount Melbourw^s against Aun— 
Viscount Melbourne vindicates his own consistency-^ Speeches ^tke 
Earls Ripon and Winchelsea^-Viscount Sandon gives notice qf a 
resolution with respect to the proposed change in the Sugar-duties — 
Counter-resolution announced by Lord John Russell — Notice on the 
same subject by Mr. (yConnell— Debate on the Sugar-duties — /m- 
portant petitiotis presented on both sides — Able introductory Speech 
qf Lord John RusselU — Viscount Sandon moves his Resolution^--' 
Debate lasts from 1th May to IStL—^Mr, Handley and other lead' 
ing asricultural Members declare against the Ministerial plans-^ 
Dr, Ltishington Apposes the Budget on anti-slavery grounds — Mr. 
Grote's answer to this argument — Summary of the Speeches of 
Lord Stanley, the Chancellor qf the Exchequer^ Sir Robert Peel, 
and Viscount Palmerston — Viscount Sandon* s Resolution is carried 
by a majority qf 36 — Public excitement consequent on d^eat of 
Ministers'^The Chancellor of the Exchequer gives notice of moving 
** the usual Sugar-duties" Severe Remarks qf the Earl qf Dar* 
lington on the tenacity of the Government — Preparations for a 
General Election — Sir Robert Peel gives notice of a Resolution 
({firming want of Confidence in the Government — Lord John Russell 
ihrofvs up the Poor-law ActfAmendment Bill — The Chancellor of 
the Exchequer moves the usual Annual Sugar DutieS'^-'He is SC' 
conded by Sir Robert Peel — Speeches of Sir de Lacy EvanSf Mr, 
Wakloff and Lord John Russell — Discussions on the Com^laws m 
the House of Lords — Progress qf Agitation, and state of public 


HE Chancellor of the Exche- which had heen announced for the 
quer's financial statement^ 3l8t Aprils was expected wiUi un- 



usual interest* as well on aeoount 
nf the known embarrassed state of 
the public finances^ as because ru« 
mours bad been cinailated that the 
goveniment intended to propose 
some very bold remedy for those 
difficultieSy more especially with a 
view to tl^ eritical politioEd situa* 
tion in which they were nowplaced, 
und the antieipafced event of a dis* 
•olution of parliament. The ex- 
citement of the house, which was 
hefoTO sufficiently high^ was, how<- 
ever, considerably xnereased by an 
MUKMincement made by Lord John 
fiupell, before going into com*' 
mittee of Ways and means, that on 
the 91st May he should move^ 
'* tlwt the house resolve itself into 
a committee of the whole house, to 
consider the acts of parliament re<^ 
bting to the trade in com." 

The Chancellor of the £xche« 
quer then entered into his i&nancial 
alatementy of which we shall pre- 
•ent a oonciae summary. He said, 
that when he came forward last 
year be had anticipated that the 
expenditure would amount to 
49,4BQfi0Ol, and the inoome to 
48»641,Q00/L ; leaving a deficiency 
of 858,000^ The actual results 
9i the 3pear had been less favours- 
Ue than he had anticipated^ 
fixr though the expenditure had 
amottnted only to 49»285,000/«, 
tha income had only reached the 
mua cf 47*443,000/., leaving a de^ 
fidenc:f of more than 1,840.000/. 
The n^t honourable gentleman 
Uiea went over the revenue tables, 
imdenumerated the several items in 
Ibe Customs and Excise* in which 
ibeie had been a falling-off or an 
increase. Among those in which a 
more mafkeS faOing^*^ had taken 
places he enumerate currants, moi" 
lawres, spirits* sugar, tea* wine, 
and dieep's wool; but for the de* 
cUna in eodb ai theso* a ceasoa 

would readily suggest itself to the 
house. The dimmidied revenue 
from sugar and mdasses, Mr. Ba- 
ring attributed to the exorbitant 
price to wluch that article had 
risen ; the anticipation of a com- 
mercial treaty with France had 
^Mturally tended to interfere with 
the duty arising from wine ; and 
in the diminished consumption of 
spirits Ireland bore a large share-*-* 
but, however that circumstance 
might inconvenience his statement 
that evening, he should be ashamed 
of himself if he did not allude to 
it with sincere pleasure* The re<- 
venue from the post<^oe had 
fallen short of his expectations; 
but that was owing not to a diefi^ 
ciency in the antidpated increase 
of letters posted, but to the in- 
creased expenses whieh had become 
necesHary in conseqwmce of the 
opening of railroadli, and of the 
great augmentation in the business 
of the office. For the ensuing year, 
he calculated that the nationsd ex- 
penditure would be-*- 

Interest on the debt «£fi9,494,000 
Other oharafes on coaso* 

lidatedfuaa « « • 8*400,000 
Army . • . ^ « 6y£>87,QQQ 

Nnvy 6,805,000 

Ordnance .... 9.075,000 
Misoellaneons . . . 9.935,000 
Extraordiaary expenses 

^r Canada • • « 180,000 
fixpeditioQ to China • 400,000 

-^ 1^ 

Making a total of . <i'50,731,890 

The items having been given in 
rmwd numbers, the totsl would 
not exactly agree with them» but 
the total was as he had given it 
The chancellor of the exchequer 
next entered on the items of the 
revenue which he anticipated for 
the ensuing year. The Cus. 
toms» he expected^ would pro. 
duoe 22,000,000/,; the Excise 
UfiOOfiQQLi and the^ Stamps 


79130,000;.; and he thought he 
might rely upon it that the total 
revenue would not fall short of 
48,310,000^ This would leave 
a deficiency of 2,421,000/. to he 
provided for. Mr. Baring entered 
into some explanations to show 
that the permanent deficiency, 
which he would really have to 
provide for, would he 1,700,000/., 
as several items of the expenditure 
of next year were of an extraor- 
dinary character. Under these 
circumstances^ it became necessary 
to find some means to make up 
the revenue of the country to 
50,000,0002. No taxation could 
be so injurious as a permanent dis- 
order in the national finances; 
and the sum they had now to pro- 
vide for was so large as to make it 
absolutely necessary for them to 
act with some degree of boldness. 

The question then was— what 
th^ should do? Should they fall 
back on the taxes which they had 
themselves not long since repealed? 
— (ihe house-tax, for example^ or 
the tax on coals? Should they 
impose taxes on things that had 
been hitherto exempt, place a le- 
gacy duty on real property, or a 
tax on agricultural horses ? Were 
they to lay a tax upon new articles 
which had come into existence 
since the present system of taxa- 
tion—such as gas and steam? 
Ought they to adopt the once ex- 
ecrated, but now popular, plan of 
a property tax^ or might they not 
make some arrangement of existing 
taxation, so as to obtain the re- 
quired supplies without adding to 
Uie burdens of the people ? 

He was sure that two articles— 
6ugar and timber— had already 
suggested themselves to the house 
as those with which it was his 
intention to deal. The present 
duty on colonial timber amounted 

to lOs. a load, apd on Baltic tim- 
ber to 55s. This duty Earl Spen- 
cer had proposed to modify by 
raising that on colonial to 20s., 
and raludng that on Baltic timber 
to 50s. a load. Mr. Baring in- 
tended to adopt the proposition of 
his noble friend. From this change 
in the timber duties Earl Spencer 
anticipated an increased revenue 
of 750,000/., but said, that he 
should be content with 600^000/. 
Mr. Baring should be content to 
take the same sum as Earl Spencer, 
He next explained that the alteou 
tion which he intended to propose 
in the sugar duties would still leave 
a protection of 50 per cent, to 
colonial sugar. He meant to leave 
the duty on colonial sugar at the 
present amount of 24^. per cwt, ; 
but that on foreign sugar, now 
amounting to 63^., he should pro* 
pose to reduce to S6s. per cwt 
From this change in the sugar 
duties he expected an augmentation 
of 900,000/. to the revenue, but 
he would estimate it only at 
700,000/. From sugar and tim« 
her, then, he looked for an increase 
to the revenue of not less than 
1,300,000/. ; which would stDl 
leave a deficiency of 400,0002. to 
be provided for. His noUe fiaend 
had that evening given notice of 
hb intention at an early period to 
submit the question of the com 
trade to the consideration of die 
house; and if the propositions of 
his noble friend were agreed to^ 
he should be under no uneastness 
respecting the remaining 400,0001. 
If they were not agreed to, it would 
of course become his duty to make 
provision by direct taxation. 

Mr. Baring went on to ask the 
house to look at the present aqieet 
of public affairs. There was the 
German league extending its in* 
fluence, and inaEeasiDg its pcoteot* 



ing duties ; there was the American 
tanff, and there was the treaty 
with Brazil^ the renewal of which 
would soon have to become mat- 
ter of negotiation. But it would 
be in Tain to press upon those na- 
tions a liberal line of policy, if 
this country were to keep up pro- 
hibitions under the name of protec- 
tion ; they would retort, " we hear 
what you say, and we see what 
you do.** If there was any inten- 
tion whatever to admit the pro- 
duce of foreign countries, the house 
would see that they ought not to 
delay and postpone until they lost 
the markets of the world, and had 
nothing left but to give way to 
ngret and despair. IDie Chancel- 
lor c£ the Exchequer then moved a 
resoluticm of form> that eleven 
millions be raised by Exchequer- 
bills for the use of the year 1841. 
Mr. Goulbum said, he would 
not at present express any opinion 
on the proposed scheme for making 
up the deficiency, but he was at a 
loss to know Aoft' certain measures 
could produce certain estimated 
amounts of revenue — how the re- 
duction of the sugar duties, for 
instance, could be expected to 

riduce 700,000/., or the alteration 
the Corn-law 400,000/. And he 
wanted to know whether that 
400^000/. was in addition to the 
1^200,000/. produced from the 
same source last year, and included 
in the amount of Customs revenue, 
upon which the present estimate 
was framed? Mr. Baring had 
given no explanation of these 
points. Mr. Goulbum then re- 
capitulated the history of the fin- 
ancial administration of the present 
government, and reminded them 
that he had all along warned them 
of the consequences of an in- 
creadng expenditure, while they 
suffered the deficiency of the re- 

venue to become greater year by 
year. He asked also how the 
deficiency of 1,800,000/. of last 
year was to be paid : to which 
Mr. Baring answered that 800,000/. 
had been vested in exchequer-billg 
for that purpose, and 750,000/. 
would be paid out of the funds of 
the savings banks. 

Mr. Hume, Mr. Ward, Mr. 
Villiers, and other members of 
strong liberal opinions, expressed 
their satisfaction at the nature of 
the ministerial measure, and the 
contemplated reduction of duties. 
Mr. Christopher and lord Francis 
Egerton commented severely on 
the expedient just announced of 
altering the corn-laws, which they^ 
contended was obviously taken up 
to serve a party purpose, and was 
now hung up by lord John Rus- 
sell's notice for a period of five 
weeks, to agitate the country. 
Viscount Sandon demanded from 
the government, in explicit terms, 
an explanation of theirintentionson 
the subject, which lord John Rus- 
sell then gave in general terms. 
He said he should propose a mo* 
derate fixed duty, a principle which 
he had already supported, and the 
measure would be brought forward 
as a measure of the government— 
a government united on the sub- 
ject ; forviscount Melbourne would 
not regard the taunts which were 
uttered against him. Lord John 
Russell said, he thought the time 
was come when it was necessary 
to apply the unanswerable theo- 
retic^ arguments upon which were 
based the principles which the go- 
vernment had adopted. 

Sir Robert Peel condemned the 
wanton and unnecessary suspense 
occasioned by the delay of lord 
John Russell's motion, and by the 
ambiguity as to whether it was 
intended to raise a duty of 


400,000/., or 1,200,000^ from 
oorn. Unlen loid John Russell 
oonsented to submit his motion 
at once, he might be compelled to 
do so; for the bouse would not 
make itself an instrument of agi* 
tation. With piofissnons of re- 
trenchment on entering Moe, and 
a surplus revenue, the goTemment 
would be left at the end of the 
present vear with an accumulated 
defirat of 7,500,000iL, in the face 
of a rising expenditure. If the 
oppoMtion had voted for the esti*- 
matcfi, it oould not share the re- 
sponsibility of that state of the 
finaneesy for it might object to the 
polki^ which had rendered those 
catiimrtes necessary. Whatever 
might be the merits of Mr. Ba^ 
ring's ntopositions in themselves, 
it mould be remembered Uiat the 
iBtmediate question was that of 
levemie ; and how would the coun* 
toy be extricated from hs difBouU 
ticsi if hia ezpectationa of increased 
production Wttre disappointed. 

Viscount Howiiik supported the 
proposition of government, align- 
ing from the evil effects of the 
Coii|*law : he was of opinion that 
the five weeks' suspense, of which 
complaint was made, oould not pro- 
duce more uncertainty than the 
existing law itself. 

Mr. Labouchere promised to dis- 
cuss the great questions involved 
in Mt« Baring's announcement on 
a future occasion. He now ex- 
plained that government were pre- 
pared to extend their revision of 
the tariff toother branches of trade; 
but first they must grapple with 
the most important question — that 
of the Corn-laws. He denied that 
the reviuon of the tariff was a 
party-question; and appealed to 
the concurrence of different parties 
on the subject in manufacturing 
towns and in the city of London, 

to flliow that the popular iuleiest 
in the subject could not have been 
created by the aiere dfeoktifHi of 
the report of the tfonwiitlee on 
import duties, or by the ma- 
noeuvres of any one party* 

The debate on the budget was 
protracted to considerable length ; 
but the foregoing summary em- 
braces nearly all the mmre impor- 
tant arguments which were ad^ 
duced l^ those who took part in 

It nmy well be suppesed timt 
announcements of so much import 
tanoe, and pregnant with audi 
weighty consequences to all the 
great interests of the oonmomty, 
excited a very general and powers 
ful sensation in the publie mind. 
Immediately, both the friende and 
opponents of the ministerial plmis 
began to prepare for the ^ppioMh- 
ing contest) the one to orgailiae 
the means of stirring up nuUie 
feeling in its fiivour ; the ottiar to 
combine in opposition the itrengih 
of all the various intereeta which 
were likely to be |lre|udidaUT 
affected by the change propoaed. 
The anti»Com-law perty set to 
work with great activity to or- 
ganise new assooiatioiM^ to de- 
spatch lecturers and emisMHieg, 
who might rouse the publio mind 
throughout the country^ and to 
get up requisitions for pttbUc aieel- 
ingsin the principal towna. On 
the other side, meetings were ooo- 
vened of parties conneoted with 
the shipping and North American 
interest^— of the planteirs, amr- 
ohantSy and others interested in 
the West-Indian coh>nieaf of the 
representatives of East In^n pro- 
perty, ijt the societies £nr the 
abolition of slavery, whose alarms 
were excited at the prospect of die 
impulse which a reduction ef the 
sugar duties would give to ihfify 



in Cuba and Brwril ; and measures 
were taken for promoting an union 
of ail tliese powerful parties with 
the agricultural body, to resist the 
Uow threatened against their vari- 
ous interests by &e government. 
But though the war was thus ao 
tively begun in these quarters, the 
excitement was by no means geoe« 
rally diffused among the great body 
of the people : the measures pro- 
posed were not of that broad and 
tangible nature which are alone 
calralated to excite the active sym- 
pathy of the multitude ;— more- 
oveTi the projected changes bore 
too obvioimy on their very face 
the character of temporary expe- 
dients brought forward to serve 
the purpose and stay the fall of a 
party; and want of fisdth in the 
sincerity of those who proposed to 
cany them into effects prevented 
any active spirit of co-operation 
osi the part of those who were not 
otherwise interested in supporting 
the government. In Parliament, 
the opposition lost no time in 
eoming to the attack. On the 3d 
of May^ the duke of Buckingham, 
in presenting in the house of lords 
120 .petitions against a repeal of 
the Coni«*lawSj attacked viscount 
Melboume upon his inconsistency 
in now joining with his colleagues 
in an alteration of those laws, 
aflter the strong language in which 
he had formerly expressed his 
opinions on the subject. He quo- 
ted the following remarkable ex- 
tract from a speech delivered by 
viscount Melboume, in reply to 
the proposition of a noble lord on 
the subject: 

*' His noble friend had carefully 
abstained from stating what it was 
that he meant to do^—whether his 
object was to have a fixed duty, or 
a diminution of the present as- 
eaii4ing and descending scale ; but 

whichever of these alternatives was 
his noble friend's plan, as he saw 
clearly and distinctly that that ob- 
ject would not be carried without 
a most violent struggle— without 
cauang much ill blood, and a deep 
sense of grievance-^without stir- 
ring society to its foundations, and 
leaving behind every sort of bit- 
terness and animosity-^he did not 
think that the advantages to be 
gained by the change were worth 
the evils of the struggle, by which 
their lordships might depend on it 
the change could alone be effected. 
They had seen great changes at no 
distant periods— changes which had 
stirred society from the bottom, 
which had excited man against 
man, divided the whole country 
into parties, and left behind the 
deepest feeling of discord and en- 
mity. He for one was not for 
adding to those feelings by rashly 
adventurine to stir and agitate 
them; ana upon those fpenerai 
grounds he felt himself justified in 
saying * no* to the motion c^ the 
noble earl." [The reading qfihie 
extract was JbUorved by a hud 
burst of cheers from the ConseT" 
votive benches^ which lasted for 
several minutes*'] 

Viscount Melboume thus vin*i 
dicated his own consistency s 

" Unquestionably I have often 
stated the opinion, and at the pre- 
sent moment I feel the same B&a* 
timenty expressed in those words 
of mine which the noble duke has 
quoted. I know that there are 
many reasons**-! know there are 
many reasons and grounds which 
rrader the agitation and discussion 
of this question liable to great ob- 
jections and fraught with consider., 
able evil and danger. [Loudpheer^ 
ingfrom the Conservative benchesri 
But at the same time, I beg tA cafl 
to the recoUeetiott of your lord- 



ships^ that on every occasion in 
which I addressed the house on the 
subjectyand whenever I opposed 
its discussion and consideration^ it 
has always been on particular and 
temporary grounds. ^Loud cheers 
from the Ministerial side of the 
kouse.l And on the measure it- 
8elf> i have always reserved my 
opinion. {^Coniinuai cheering.^ I 
have always stated, that I would 
never pledge myself to the law as 
it'at present stands^ seeing that the 
time might come when it would 
be necessary to take the question 
into consideration^ and to settle- it 
on another basis from that on 
which it at present rests." [Cheers 
from the Ministerial side*} 

*' That time has now arrived-^ 
those circumstances havenow arisen 
«*when we find that it is requi- 
ate to meet the present exigencies 
—when we find it necessary to 
take large^ wide^ and extended 
financial measures; and doing that 
which afiects other interests seri- 
ously and deeply, it appeared to 
us impossible to leave this main 
and master interest unchanged un- 
der such circumstances and in such 
a crisis. [Xoud cheers from the 
Ministerial side of the houseJ^ 
Undoubtedly I have ehanged the 
opinion which I formerly held— 
{Great counter*cheering from the 
other side"^ — - ground^ as that 
opinion was on purely temporary 
interests." {Renewed cheering from 
the Ministerial side,2 

The earl of Ripon asked whe« 
ther the alteration in the Corn-law 
was to be on the principle of tax- 
ation or protection --if on the for- 
mer» all the arguments of the 
anti-Com-law league vanished into 
thin air, and there was an end of 
those appeals which were made to 
the passions of the multitude. The 
principle of protection rested on 

humane and consistent grounds; 
but by abandoning thisy and by 
taking up the new ground of tax- 
ing com for revenue^ you woold 
do that which had never been 
attempted in any country of the 
worldy and which would be the 
most impolitic, unjustifiable, and 
cruel act| ever imposed upon a 
reluctant parliament. 

Viscount Melbourne said^ un- 
questionably it will be upon ft prin- 
ciple of protection. 

The carl of Winchelsea observed 
that it was a universal axiom that 
no country should be left dependent 
on others for the necessary articles 
of subsistence. That prindple was 
now to be abandoned. '* This tax," 
said the noble lord, ** has been 
threatened to raise the popular cry 
of ' Cheap Bread ;' and now, hav- 
ing pursiied a course of poUcy— 
foreign, domestic, and oolomal— 
the most adverse to the interests 
of the kingdom, her Majesty's 
government shordy intoid to go 
to the country, by a dissolution, 
with that cry in their mouths, and 
by clamour seek support and con- 
fidence. But the people of this 
country are too r^ecting to be 
thus deceived. They know that 
cheap bread means low wages." 
{Loud cheering."^ 

Some further desultory discos- 
sions on the same subject took 
place in the house of lords» on the 
presentation of petitions, by eaai 
FitzwiUiam for a repeal of the 

In the house of commons;, vis- 
count Sandon, a very few dajrs 
after the announcement of the 
financial projects of the ffovem* 
ment, gave notice of the fouowhqf 
resolution, which he would move 
on going into the Committee of 
Ways and Means. "That, con- 
sidering the efforts and sacrifices 



which Parliament and the country 
have made for the abolition of the 
slave-trade and slavery^ v^ith the 
earnest hope that their exertions 
and example might lead to a miti- 
gation and final extinction of those 
evils in other countries, this House 
is not prepared (especially with the 
present prospects of the supply of 
sugar from the British possessions) 
to adopt the measure proposed by 
her majesty's Government for the 
reduction of the duty on foreign 

Lord John Bussell said, that in 
the event of the House not going 
into committeeon the Sugar-duties, 
and viscount Sandon's resolution 
being put from the chair, he should 
move another resolution, the terms 
of which he stated on the follow- 
ing evening : 

*' That it is the ppinion of this 
House that it is practicable to sup- 
ply the present inadequacy of the 
revenue to meet the expenditure 
of the country, by a judicious 
alteration of protective and differ- 
ential duties, without any material 
increase of the public burdens: 
that such course will, at the same 
time, promote the interests of trade 
and anford relief to the industrious 
classes, and is best calculated to 
provide for the maintenance of the 
public faith and the general wel- 
fare of the people ." 

A third notice was given by Mr. 
O'Connell, which was to the effect, 
that any diminution of the duty 
on foreign sugar should be strictly 
limited to that which was the pro- 
duce of firee labour, and not extend 
in any way to the produce of slave- 

Before the House went into com- 
mittee on the 7th of May, lord 
John Russell announced the rate 
of duties which he intended to 
propose on Corn, according to his 


former notice, viz. : on wheat, a 
duty of 8*. per quarter ; on rye, of 
5s. 'y on barley, of 4s, 6d. ; and on 
oats, of 3^. 6d, 

The debate on the Sugar ques- 
tion was preceded by the presenta- 
tion of a number of important 
petitions on both sides. Against 
the government plan were those of 
the Shipowner's Society, the Cham- 
ber of Commerce at Glasgow, the 
merchants of Liverpool, the Colo- 
nial Society, the British and Fo- 
reign Anti-Slavery Society (the 
name of Thomas Clarkson being 
the first appended to this petition), 
various West India associations, 
and divers bodies of planters, mer- 
chants, and others. In favour of 
the Budget, the petitioners were 
the Brazil merchants of Liverpool, 
the American Chamber of Com- 
merce at Liverpool, the merchants 
and manufacturers of Kendal, the 
sugar-refining trade of London, 
several corporations, and other 

The debate was commenced by 
Lord John Russell taking the for- 
mal motion for going into commit- 
tee out of Mr. Baring's hands, and 
availing himself of the opportunity 
for preoccupying the ground and 
anticipating the arguments of vis- 
count Sandon and his friends. The 
speech of lord John Russell, what- 
ever might be the merits of the 
policy which it advocated, is cer- 
tainly entitled to praise, as able, 
comprehensive, and elaborate, in 
no ordinary degree. This circum- 
stance will justify us, after we have 
given a summary of its leading topics 
and arguments, in passing over 
with very brief notice, many of the 
speeches which were afterwards 
delivered on the same side ; for as 
the debate on this question was 
protracted to the unprecedented 
duration of eight nights, it would 



be impossible, within the limits of 
this work, to present even an 
epitome of the speeches individu- 
ally, without trenching upon the 
space demanded by other matters 
of great public moment. The 
speech of lord John Russell may, 
however, be taken as a very good 
exposition of the policy and prin- 
ciples of the Government and its 
supporters. He said, that if this 
had been merely a financial ques- 
tion, he should have left it to the 
superior knowledge and perspicuity 
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; 
but he regarded it as constituting, 
by the variety and magnitude of its 
relations, a great national subject. 
The Government were well aware, 
even from the beginning of this 
year, that the finance of the coun. 
try was matter of great difficulty, 
and would require great attention. 
Their resolution to consider the 
Corn-laws was formed before the 
11th of March^ when the notice 
was given that the colonial duties 
would be reviewed. On that oc- 
casion he had stated, that it was 
the intention of the Government 
to embrace the whole subject of 
Import-duties ; and when he now 
added, that he had long ago com- 
municated with the Governor- 
general of Canada upon the Tim- 
ber question, he trusted there 
would be an end to that story, 
circulated in hostility to the Go- 
vernment and to its character, that 
the present Budget was a sudden 
contrivance and resource for the 
extrication of the Ministry. He 
spoke now in behalf of no colonial 
club, no powerful individual inter- 
est, but on behalf of a body often 
helpless on these occasions — the 
great body of her majesty's sub- 
jects. Many foreign emergencies 
had arisen in the Mediterranean, 
in China; in Canada ; domestic in- 

surrections had broken out, and 
large additions of force became 
necessary for the safety of the 
empire. These additions had been 
supported by majorities of the 
House; and the means thus be- 
stowed had been succesKfully em- 
ployed by the Government. The 
cost of these efforts had now to be 
provided for ; and the Government 
had to meet a deficiency of 
2,400,000/. It was open to the 
House to have objected to the expen- 
diture at the time; but now to op-. 
pose the going into Committee of 
Ways and Means, without sug- 
gesting any other plan as prefer- 
able to that of the Govemment. 
was a course unworthy of a great 
party. The Ministry had con-. 
sidered the expediency of meeting 
the emergency by a loan, but tbey. 
had rejected that expedient at un- 
wise, where the deficiency was 
permanent: they had ooniidtred 
also the resource of increasing the. 
direct taxesj but they had pxe- 
ferred, on the other hand, the pUm* 
of altering the Import-duties, as 
now proposed, for the purpose of 
relieving instead of oppresSu^ the 
people. Then being prepared to 
deal with Sugar and Timber as. 
questions of revenue,, tbey would; 
not have been justified in exdud-*- 
ing the other great question— that. 
of Com — especial^ witb their 
opinions on the merits of that 
question, and their belief ^at,> 
sooner or later, it must he made 
the means of an extensive change 
in the commercial situation of this 
country. The duties he meant to 
propose UDon Corui added . to thf 
charge of freight fromi fordga 
countries, would constitute a suf- 
ficient protection* keeping. the price. 
of Wheat, in all prohidiility, at. 
ftom 50s. to 60s. a quarter. Wjth 
respect to Sugar, he took the true 

ft «' 


principle to be protection, not pro- 
hibition. He was not now con- 
sidering i^hether all foreign sugar 
ought to be prohibited — that was 
a separate question — ^but only whe- 
ther the present proposal did or did 
not give A sufficient protection, 
where protection and not prohibi- 
tion was the object. He then 
entered into some details, for the 
purpose of showing that West In- 
dian interests would be effectually 
protected under the proposals of 
the Budget, and that freedom in 
the commercial intercourse of na- 
tions had a tendency to improve 
and to cheapen the productions of 
ttah, llius, by the admission of 
foreign sugars, the industry of the 
West Indiea would be stimulated 
to better means of production, and 
th<i English labourer would obtain 
hia sugar on more reasonable terms* 
Th6 great measure of slave-eman« 
dpation^ purchased by this country 
at the cost of twenty millions ster- 
ling, had been eminently success- 
fult and the condition of the 
negroes was not only promising 
but prosperous. This fact he 
proved by various statistical de- 
tails. There was no reason to 
suppose that the progress of the 
West Indian negroes would now 
be checked by the importation of 
foreign sugars ; and having given 
them justice and freedom, the go- 
vernment would notbe jufitified in 
further forcing West Indian culti- 
vation for their sakes, to the in- 
jury of the English labourer, 
especially when the manufacturing 
interests at home were enduring 
the severest distress. He asked the 
House, therefore, not to let their 
good*\Vill to the West Indian ne- 
groes 01 erate to the disadvantage 
of the sufferers at Bolton and Man- 
chester, who, it was but too proba- 
blt| would be reduced in great 

numbers to parish relief before the 
end of the session. The working 
people had now for some time been 
improving in their habits, prefer- 
ring tea and coffee to ardent 
spirits: it was most desirable to 
encourage that tendency, and not 
to drive them back again to dele- 
terious liquoi'S. It was said, that 
sugar would soon be cheapened by 
an increased production in the 
East Indies. But this, if the pre- 
sent scale of duties were main- 
tained, would only be a transfer of 
monopoly from the West to the 
East. He now came to viscount 
Sandon's proposed resolution, which 
did not altogether prohibit slave- 
grown sugar, but mixed trade 
and humanity together, mainly 
on the ground that there was 
a good prospect of supply 
from the colonies. That .was in- 
telligible enough as a great 
party-move; but it by no means 
excluded the movers themselves 
from letting in slave-grown sugar 
in some future state of things. 
The resolution looked as if ii were 
full of humanity, but it left a 
comer for future free-trade. But 
if the House were resolved against 
taking slave-grown sugar, what 
would it say as to the admission 
of other articles of slave-labour ? 
Would they wholly prohibit the 
slave-grown coffee, of which so 
large a quantity was now con-^ 
sumed by British subjects? Did 
the man who would be horrified at 
drinking a cup of slave-grown 
coffee, redeem the potation and 
relieve his conscience by putting in 
a lump of free-labour sugar? But 
there was a still stronger case ; the 
West India planters themselves 
were now consuming slave-grown 
sugar. (Viscount Sandon intimated 
that he would gladly stop such a 
consumption.) Lord John Russell 

100] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

proceeded to contend* that this 
apparently philanthropic resolution 
\ was a mere party motion^ to em- 
barrass the Government by uniting 
various interests against them. Yet 
who, after all, had been the per- 
sons most active in the great cause 
of humanity ? It was the Whig 
Government of 1806 which put an 
end to the Slave-trade. It was the 
Whig government of Earl Grey 
that abolished the flogging of 
females, and granted 20,000,000/. 
of money for the abolition of 
slavery. And now a party, who 
never did anything for any of 
these objects, came forward with 
an affectation of humanity, for 
which their past conduct did not 
entitle them to take credit. It 
had. been proposed to reduce the 
duty on Colonial Sugar. To such a 
reduction, certainly, the Govern- 
ment ought to look, when the 
revenue should be able to afford it, 
but that period had not yet ar- 
rived. If the Government measure 
were adopted, England might, as 
a great customer of Brazil, have 
an influence in the mitigation of 
her slavery ; but not so, if Brazil 
should find a stubborn resolve in 
the British Legislature to exclude 
her produce. She would then 
continue her slave-labour, and sell 
her produce to other countries. 
Not only as to Brazil, but as to 
other nations, the present crisis 
was an important one. The ex- 
ample which they were now about 
to give would be of the most exten- 
sive infiuence. ** If they saw that 
this great commercial country, this 
free country, had come to an opi- 
nion, that restriction and prohibi- 
tion were the best maxims of com- 
mercial policy, they would quote 
that example for themselves. Their 
merchants would quote it too, and 
restriction and prohibitiun would 

become the rule of intercourse of 
European nations. {Loud cheers 
and counter cheers,) Was that 
for the advantage of this country, 
or was it for the advantage of the 
world } He said, that for the 
former it certainly was* not: for a^ 
a great commercial and manufac- 
turing nation, we ought to look 
to the extension and diffiision of 
British Manufactures. He said 
also, that for the advantage of the 
world it certainly was not: be- 
cause his belief was, that the more 
there was a free and unrestricted 
intercourse— the more the nations 
of the world were mingled to- 
gether by those ties of peaceAil 
commerce, the more this country 
would be carrying, with her hales 
of goods and cases of hardware, 
the knowledge of civilizatidn and 
Christianity of a nation that stood 
in the front for all those qualities 
{hud cheers) ; and the House must 
observe, that though this nation 
stood in so proud and eminent a 
position, yet a pernicious example 
set by her in that respect, which 
might be of some disadvantage to 
others, must finally be of the ut. 
most disadvantage to herself. She 
did not stand like Rome, the con* 
queror of the world— 

'^ But, Rome, His thine alone with awful 

To rule' mankind and malce the world 

Disposing peace and war, thy own ma- 
jestic way. 

To tame the proud, the fetter'd slave to 
free ; 

These are imperial arts and worthy 

She was, on the continent, one 
amongst several nations of great 
power and great civilization, of 
whose institutions some were equal- 
ly as free as her own; many of 
them advancing to great wealth, 
and competing with and rivalling 



her in all the arts of peace, and in 
all her productions. Let her give, 
then, to those nations hut a right 
example, and she would still he, 
not only even, but the foremost. 
But let her take a contrary course, 
and establish restriction and pro- 
hibition — let her say to other 
nations, that her merchants of the 
West Indies and East Indies, the 
timber-merchants of North Ame- 
rica, and the landowners of her 
own soil, had a present monopoly, 
that that was her standard, and 
tinder that standard she meant to 
march on, and by it to abide ; she 
would then set an evil example, 
that before long would become 
confirmed, and when she wished to 
retrace her steps, she would find 
the lesson she had taught too deeply 
implanted ever to be eradicated. 
Having those views of the state of 
the country, and of the other coun- 
tries of the globe in communion 
\17ith it, he and his colleagues had, 
as it was their bounden duty to do, 
given their advice to the sovereign ; 
the result of that advice he had 
now produced before the House, 
and with them it rested to come to 
a decision on the subject. If they 
adopted the plan which the Govern- 
ment had proposed, he looked for- 
ward with confidence to an era of 
prosperity. If, however, they did 
not adopt it, on that House would 
be the responsibility of rejecting 
the measure, while her majestjr's 
Ministers would have discharged 
the duty that was incumbent on 
them^ that of not having concealed 
their opinion, and having done 
their best for the service of the 
country." The noble lord then 
moved, that the Speaker leave the 
chair, and resumed his seat amidst 
long-continued cheers. 

viscount Sandon then rose, to 
propose the resolution of which he 

had given notice. He disclaimed 
the desire imputed to him, of ex- 
cluding all trade in all slave-pro- 
duced articles ; his objection was, to 
such a direct encouragement and 
powerful stimulus to the slave-trade 
as this measure would afford. He 
showed, from various returns, that 
the supply of sugar was now be- 
coming so plentiful, as to deprive 
the Government of the excuse, that 
their measure was necessary for the 
relief of the labouring dasses at 
home. That measure was held 
out as a boon to the foreign slave- 
owners, and to the extent of that 
boon it was a bounty upon the 
slave-trade. If this were a mere 
mercantile question, he would not 
have interfered. As a mere pro- 
tection, the existing duty might 
probably be too high, but the 
question was a moral one, involv- 
ing the success of the great ex- 
periment of negro-emancipation, 
for which the nation had lately 
paid so large a price. The Govern- 
ment, moreover, had miscalculated 
their details ; their measure would 
not be found adequate to supply 
the required revenue. This he 
proved by a reference to various 
documentary statements, and re- 
ferred to similar sources to show 
the great increase in our exports 
which had recently taken place to 
those colonies in which free-labour 
had been established. The value 
of the trade of Brazil and Cuba, 
as compared with that of the West 
and East Indies, was inconsider- 
able. Commercially, therefore, the 
manufacturers would be losers by 
sacrificing the colonial markets to 
those of the slave-owning states. 
He defended the colonists against 
the imputation, that they were 
wanting in humanity, and con- 
cluded by moving the resolution 
which has been before stated. 

1021 ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

In the course of the debate 
which followed^ and which lasted, 
with only the exception of two 
intervening Saturdays, from night 
to nighty from the 7th to the 18th 
of May, upwards of eighty mem- 
bers addressed the House, some of 
whom spoke at considerable length. 
Of course^ such an unprecedented 
length of discussion involved much 
repetition and reproduction of the 
same arguments. Under these cir- 
cumstances, it is thought that the 
nature of the debate will be best 
conveyed to the reader by present- 
ing a full analysis of the speeches 
of a few of the leading members 
on either side, and, as regards the 
rest, by noticing in detail only two 
or three of the more promipent 
features of the controversy. Among 
these, the defection from the mi- 
nisterial rank of some of the usual 
adherents of Whig politics merits 
attention. The obvious connection 
of the propositions contained in the 
Budget, with the threatened alter- 
ation in the Corn -laws, drove some 
of the representatives of the agri. 
cultural interests, who generally 
voted with lord John Russell, into 
the ranks of his opponents. Thus> 
on the first night of the debate, 
Mr. Handley, one of the members 
for Lincolnshire, and a leading 
organ of the farming interest, de- 
clared that he could not vote with 
the Ministers, as he regarded the 
questions of Sugar and Timber as 
inseparably mixed up with that of 
Corn. He said, he was astounded 
at the proposal of 8^. and 4;., a 
reduction of duty which he be- 
lieved went even beyond the hopes 
of the Anti-corn-law League them- 
selves. He would rather have had 
no protection at all than such a 
protection as this. Lord Worsley, 
Mr. G. Heathcote, and Mr. L, 
Hodges, all friends of the agricul- 

turists, but of liberal politics^ de^ 
clared the same resolution. On 
the other hand. Dr. Lushington, a 
very decided and consistent Whig^ 
avowed his enmity to the Budget 
on another distinct ground— its 
tendency to encourage slavery and 
the slave-trade. He said^ that 
every country had a risht to de- 
nounce a trade which ul Europe 
had agreed, with one accord, was 
opposed to the law of justice and 
humanity— of God and man. 
There might be difficulty in our 
finance and in our commerce; but 
this measure would not relieve it» 
He had not changed one iota of 
his opinions. He had opposed, in 
common with a large majority of 
the House, tbe reduction of duty 
on foreign sugar, when prices were 
higher and supplies doubtful; he 
would not think it more fitting to 
reduce that duty now, when pnoes 
were lower and supplies promising. 
He must oppose the reduction, as 
tending to increase the slave-trade 
and slavery, as unjust to the West 
Indies, as disadvantageous to the 
East Indies, as injurious to the 
tropical population, and as unner 
cessary in itself. He stated, in 
detail, the present prospect! of 
supply from our own coloniefl;» ni 
which the produce was now rapidly 
increasing ; and he adverted to tli^ 
enormities of slavery as upheld in 
Cuba, where the slaves were always 
worked in gangs of males only, te 
whom was denied even the necessary 
refreshment of sleep, and against 
whom every man's hand was raised^ 
as if the oppressor hated the slave 
for the very wrong he had done 
him. This was no free-trade — thiy 
was no competition: there could 
be no competition between the 
honest manufacturer and the mai) 
who robbed on the highway. After 
a just panegyric on the yirtuea Mid 



exertions of Mr. John Joseph Gur- 
ney, who had recently visited the 
West Indies^ and published the 
valuable results of his experience 
there, he read an opinion trans- 
mitted to him from that gentleman, 
in which the necessity of excluding 
slave-grown sugar was strongly 
enforced. The effects of the go- 
vemment measure would probably 
be, that the Brazilians would with- 
draw capital from cotton to sugar ; 
and thus this country would be 
rendered dependent for her sup- 
plies of cotton on the United 
States alone. If the question were 
put to the British people, whether 
they would pfrefer to pay a little 
dearer for their sugar, or to have 
it cheapo at the cost of human 
suffering, he believed that they 

- would prefer the former side of the 

Several members in support of 

- the Government addressed them- 
selves with especial reference to 
Dr. Lushington's argument — none 
perhaps with more effect than Mr. 
Giote, whose speech throughout 
was marked with m uch ability. He 
said, *' When in former years the 
inischiefs of slavery, as it existed in 
our own islands, were forcibly ex- 
posed, the conclusions deduced were 
natural and legitimate, and worthy 

'of the premises laid for them. Par- 
liament said, *' Here is a great evil 
existing, let us interfere and put it 
down." The generous exertions of 
those who exposed the evil were 
rewarded with their proper result 
-— « direct and effective interven- 
tion for the purpose of putting 
down the evil. But when gentle- 
men denounce the practice of sla- 
very, as it exists in Cuba, in Brazil, 
Of in other foreign countries, what 
are the practical conclusions which 
they deduce from their doctrine ? 

•Do tbey propose thot^ we should 

formally require the governments 
of those countries to abrogate sla- 
very, and that, in the event of 
refusal, we should fit out arma- 
ments to enforce compliance ? No 
person has ever started such a pro- 
position. Do they propose to de- 
clare all the products of slave- 
labour tainted, and to forbid them 
as abominations, of which it is not 
permitted under any circumstances 
to partake, just as certain descrip- 
tions of food are peremptorily in- 
terdicted in many countries by 
religious precept ? Sir, I do not 
find that any person proposes this. 
But, Sir, unless gentlemen are pre- 
pared to maintain this proposition, 
they abandon the moral ground of 
the question ; they can no longer 
take their stand upon the dignity 
of a moral and conscientious scru- 
ple: they cannot be allowed to 
reason upon the moral view of the 
question up to a certain point, and 
then to turn their backs upon it 
when they find inconveniences 
thickening around them : they 
cannot be allowed to rate the stain 
arising from slave manipulation at 
some fixed sum, such as one penny 
or twopence per pound, and nothing 
more. So long as gentlemen en- 
courage the introduction of slave- 
grown cotton and slave-grown to- 
bacco, I say that I am only fol- 
lowing their example when I treat 
this question as one of prudence 
and public convenience, and not of 
any peremptory moral obligation." 
Had the exclusive system checked 
the spread of slavery, Mr. Grote 
asked, in Cuba and Brazil ? 

We shall select the speeches of 
lord Stanley and sir Robert Peel, 
as affording the best general com- 
pendium of the arguments urged 
against the measure, while those 
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
and viscount Palmerston on the 

104] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

other side> with the analysis which 
we have already given of lord John 
Russeirs opening address, will suf- 
ficiently explain the grounds relied 
on hy its supporters. 

Lord Stanley said, it was al- 
leged on the other side, that a great 
principle was now for the first time 
brought to the test — that of free- 
trade, and that every one was 
agreed upon this principle; but 
the fact was, that free-trade, that 
is, trade unfettered with restriction 
or protection, had been advocated 
by no member except Mr. Grote. 
On the contrary, the Ministers had 
announced that their principle was 
one of protection, not of free- 
trade. On Com, on Timber, and 
on Sugar, protecting duties were 
proposed. He did not find fault 
with protection; but let not the 
Ministers, who acted upon it, pro- 
fess to be the pure and perfect 
champions of free-trade. He agreed 
with them, that the true rule was 
protection, as opposed to prohibi- 
tion ; but the amount of protection 
in each particular case must be a 
question, not of principle, but of 
varying circumstances. The same 
rule could not be applied to the 
agriculturist and to the manufac- 
turer, the capital of the former 
being so much less moveable and 
80 much less independent of sea- 
sons ; and sugar was one of those 
descriptions of agricultural pro- 
duce, with respect to which the 
application of the rule was matter 
of peculiar difficulty. But admit- 
ting the general principle as ap- 
plicable both to agriculture and 
manufactures, if it was necessary 
to foster a manufacture in its in- 
fancy by protection, it was espe- 
cially necessary, in the present 
case of the sugar trade. Lord 
Stanley then entered fully into 
detaiki exliibiting the probable 

abundance of the future supplies 
of sugar from our own colonies, 
and the excess of those supplies 
beyond any probable amount of 
British consumption. The treat- 
ment of this question was matter 
of the greatest importance with 
reference to the course , which 
foreign nations would take with 
regard to the ereat experiment of 
emancipation . M r. O'Connell, who^ 
he had heard with the ereatest 
surprise, was pi«pared to rapport 
the measures of the Grovemment, 
had given notice of a motion in 
committee for excluding audi 
foreign sugar as was produced by 
slave-labour. The objection to 
that motion was its impossilnlity. 
It was in the very teeth of our 
treaty with Brazil. Lord Stanley 
then cited a speech of Mr. 0*Con- 
nell, made in opposition to a plan 
proposed by Mr. Ewart last year, 
precisely similar to the present. 
The Government^ too> had then 
opposed that plan, when the prices 
of sugar were high, but now, when 
the consumer had been relieved by 
prices unusually low, the same 
scheme was revived and brouirht 
in bj themselves. HewasnodL 
posed to go the extreme length of 
saying that this country ought to 
exclude every species of slave- 
grown produce. Such an exclu- 
sion would in truth be impractic 
able. But he would not consent 
to a measure which went to throw 
away all the fruits of the great 
and costly experiment now in pro* 
gress. It was urged, that our re- 
fining trade admitted sugar to be 
imported for refinement and re- 
exportation. But our refining did 
not add one pound to the quantity 
of sugar ^wn in Brazil. We 
were therem the mere carriers of 
that sugar which foreign nations 
would equally bare ooosumedt 



Then as to cotton and coffee : his 
answer was, that wherever you 
could substitute the cultivation of 
cotton and coffee^ though reared 
by slaves^ for the cultivation of 
8Ugar> the slave would be a gainer 
by the comparative lightness of the 
labour required for the former ar- 
ticles. A pleasing picture had 
been drawn of the present state of 
our negro population. To what 
was this owing? Solely to the 
consumption by this country of 
their staple article of production. 
Was this a state of things into 
which the noble lord ought to 
break? He said nothing of the 
hundreds of millions permanently 
invested in machinery and land — 
he said nothing of the 20,000,000/. 
paid by this country, or of the 
ruin to which it would subject our 
fellow-countr3rmen in the West 
Indies; but he would ask them, 
when they saw the negro acquiring 
habits of honest industry, stimu- 
lated to labour by the wages of- 
fered — when they saw an increas- 
ing population, and when they 
knew that all this flourishing con- 
dition was owing solely to the 
consumption by this country of 
their staple article of production — 
he would ask them, if this was the 
moment to choose for the destruc- 
tion of their incipient prosperity ? 
Was this the moment to choose 
for the introduction of a new com- 
petition in the shape of slave- 
grown sugar, depriving the negro 
of those wages which, while they 
.amply repaid him for his labour, 
were the means of stimulating him 
to laborious exertion ? 

He felt deeply for the distress 
of our manufacturing districts, 
bat it would be well for the 
Government to pause, before they 
doted, for the sake of a new 
Tent in Bnurilj that great colo- 

nial market which had hitherto 
afforded so large an outlet for 
British commodities, and that other 
fresh and unlimited market which 
was now opening itself in the 
valley of the Ganges. The un- 
settled state of our foreign rela- 
tions was enough to account in 
a great measure, for the temporary 

?revalence of commercial distress. 
le, however, did not despair of 
the finances of the country under 
a good and prudent Administration. 
In the extraordinary expenses oc- 
casioned by foreign transactions, 
and in the reduction of the Post- 
ofiBce Revenue, he could trace the 
whole amount of the deficiency to 
be provideed for. He quoted the 
Liverpool Price Current, of llth, 
May, 1841, which stated, that 
after the first panic caused by the 
announcement of the ministerial 
project had subsided, the market 
was become calmer from the con- 
viction that no such measure could 
be carried. Finally, lord Stanley 
vigorously denounced the scheme 
as the last act of expiring despera- 
tion on the part of the falling 

" It had been said, that whatever 
might be the result of the imme- 
diate proposition, the seed was 
sown which would produce its 
fruit in due time. He feared that 
the seed Was sown which would 
produce a bitter fruit ; and deeply 
regretted that at the moment 
when the Government felt them*> 
selves tottering to their fall — ^when 
the financial difficulties of the 
country, to say the least of them, 
were most serious — when he would 
not say county by county, but 
borough by borough, they saw 
their bold upon the country gra** 
dually slipping away from them-^ 
{Great cheering)'^ that at that 
moment^ when the common con* 


sent of the country proclaimed, 
whatever might be the opinion of 
honourable gentlemen opposite, 
that they could no longer hold the 
reins of office> as they had long 
since ceased to hold the reins of 
power— (ZJeweiPcJ cheering) -^he 
regretted, he said, that this should 
be the time chosen by Government 
for throwing loose upon the coun. 
try a crude and undigested scheme, 
involving the most extensive finan- 
cial regulations, deeply affecting 
every interest in the country, para- 
lysing for the time all speculations 
in trade and all activity in com- 
merce; and this under the full 
conviction that it was impossible 
they would be able to carry the 
project into effect." ( Great cheer- 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer 

said, that the arguments of the 
Opposition on the Sugar question 
were inconsistent with each other. 
The measure could not both ruin 
the West Indies, and fail to yield 
revenue. The price which this 
measure would secure to the Bri- 
tish colonist was one which had been 
exceeded only twice in the whole 
of the last twenty years. It had been 
said that the measure would not 
yield the anticipated revenue. He 
contended that it would : for when 
the oolomal sugar should rise to a 
certain point, the foreign susar 
would come into competition with 
it» and so prevent the price from 
rising to such a height as would 
check consumption : and while 
consumption should be maintained 
to the extent which he oontem- 
plated> a revenue might be relied 
on, which from his data^he took at 
700,000^. It was proved by the 
evidence gives before the Com- 
mittee on lmport*duties» that when 
the price rose beyond 60s, per hqei- 
betd, tba oonsumptioD was chew- 

ed, but at 5Ss, or 59^. the con- 
sumption was interminable; and 
by this measure the Government 
took security on behalf of the 
poorer classes that the price should 
not rise beyond this consumption 
level. If the colonies and the East 
Indies could supply the susarat 
this moderate price, the foreigoeis 
would not get in; but if they 
were unable to furnish the requi- 
site amount at the reasonable rate, 
the foreigner would enter and 
redress the balance. It was true 
that the supplies of cdoniid sugar 
were now plentiful, but that was 
the very reason for selecting tUs 
as the time to introduce a change, 
because in such a state of uie 
stock it would fall with no sudden 
hardship on the colonists. Mr. 
Huskisson had proposed a plan of 
this kind to the Cabinet of his tim^ 
and they had acceded to its prin- 
ciple, though from collateral cir- 
cumstnnces the measure was not 
then brought forward. The prin- 
ciple having been so sanctioned by 
the Tory party, with what gnoe 
did they now seek to ride into 
power, by raising the cry of hiH 
manity, and contending that it 
was contrary to principle to let in 
slave-grown sugur under any cir- 
cumstances? The measure re- 
ferred to was not a trifling 
—not one that could have 
ed without consideration. These 
was no truer principle than tlitt 
of Mr. Hu8kis8on> that if yon 
wish to improve a trader you most 
subject it to some co mp etitiao. 
With respect to the enooorageoMOt 
of slavery, it was to he veaMin- 
bered, that if you sell yoor gaods 
to a slave^owner, yoo eqoalte' 
encourage slavery, whether ymi 
take sugar in exchange^ or oqr 
other article; finr the other «v 



have been acquired by him by 
his slave-laboiir. He reminded 
the House^ that last year he had 
▼enturedy notwithstanding the ge- 
neral opinion that no minister 
could accomplish such an objects to 
impose direct taxes. He had^ there- 
fore> deared away that difficulty 
for the future : but at this season, 
and under present circumstances 
he did not tiiink it justifiable to 
repeat the experiments. The pre- 
JKOt Opposition made objections : 
hut they proposed no measure of 
thefar own. Such a policy was 
perhaps requifflte, in order to keep 
that powerful party together. 

Sir Robert reel then addressed 
the House in a speech which was 
listened to with peculiar interest, 
not merely with reference to the 
pending debate, but because it 
contained a statement of the prin- 
ciples by which it might be un- 
derstood his conduct would be 
regulated in the now probable and 
neariy approaching event of his 
eucoeeding to the government. He 
h^an by saying, that even though 
no question of timber or corn had 
been mixed with that of sugar, 
he would have voted against the 
introduction of slave-grown sugar 
into the English market, not upon 
the abstract ground that conscience 
would forbid all commerce in the 
produce of slave-labour — ^he had 
voted for the reduction of the duly 
on cotton, and for the removal of 
the absurd restriction which re- 
quired foreign coffee to be sent 
round to the Cape— but he now 
rested mainly upon a consideration 
of the social and moral condition 
of the West Indian people under 
the experiment now in progress. 
If the personal interests of the 
planters were only to be consi- 
derBd> the House might possibly 
)iate expected them to sacrifice 

those interests to the public advan* 
tage. But much higher interests 
were, at stake, in the moral and 
social condition of the people in 
that part of the empire in which 
we had recently made the most 
hazardous, and he rejoiced to 
admit, the most successful experi- 
ment in the annals of the world. 
But he could not conceive what 
might be the consequences of that 
change, if we now took a step 
which would introduce sugar pro* 
duced by slave-labour into the 
market of this country. Sir R. 
Peel expressed his conviction that 
a sufficient supply of sugar for our 
own consumption would be furnish^ 
ed from the £ast and West Indies 
and from the Mauritius. There 
had been a material reduction in 
its price even since the beginning 
of the present debate. He urged 
the importance of providing new 
articles of remittance from India 
to England : and quoted instances 
of extensive mortsdity by famine, 
in Hindostan, produced in some 
measure by the expulsion of the 
Hindoo manufactures, through the 
superiority of the English. After 
such fearful examples, he was un* 
able to feel the paramount obli- 
gation of those free-trade doctrines 
which now required him to give a 
preference to the industry of Cuba 
and Brazil over that of the East 
Indies. The proposal alleged to 
have been made by Mr. Grant, 
now lord Glenelg, to a Tory Cabi- 
net, had been misrepresented. It 
was a proposal only, for reducing 
the duty on West India sugar, not 
for admitting the sugar of slaves 
colonies ; and since that time, 
slavery had been abolished in the 
British possessions, so that the 
circumstances were totally altered. 
He owned he was surprised at the 
tone tsaken upon the sl^ve question 

108] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

in this debate— the abandonment 
of the whole position heretofore 
maintained by Government •» an 
abandonment which the country 
would view with disgust. The 
time was passed when a nation 
could rule her neighbours by force : 
but he had hoped that England 
might still sway them by the 
ffreatness of her example. Sir 
Kobert Peel then proceeded to de- 
fend himself against the imputation 
of being actuated by motives of 
faction^ in his present course, ap- 
pealing to the support which he 
had rendered to the Government 
on many great public questions^ 
and remindmg them that he was 
only now pursuing the course 
which he had taken conjointly 
with the Ministers themselves^ on 
this very question last year. It 
had been said, he continued^ that 
viscount Sandon*s resolution left 
its supporters a loop-hole to escape 
by, so that they might afterwards 
bring forward the measure which 
they now opposed. Sir Robert 
Peel would not avail himself of it— 
he said, 

''I will be frank and explicit 
with you. I do now say that my 
opinion^ my deliberate opinion is^ 
that the great experiment which 
has cost this country so much-^ 
the great experiment for the ex- 
tinction of slavery — should be 
fully, fairly, and perfectly tried ; 
and that to this effect we ought to 
encourage sugar the production of 
free-labour> by giving it the ex^^ 
elusive preference in the market 
of the IJnited Kingdom, as well 
as to attempt to increase its supply 
in all our colonies. Sir, if I had 
been in office, I should have taken 
the same course that I did take on 
this question ; and if I should be 
in office^ I never contemplate 
ehanging it. (Ckeerf) I do not 

propose to follow your example — 
{addressing lord John Russell)^ 
to resist the proposition now under 
discussion this year, and come 
down the next with a motion for 
its adoption. {Great cheers,) Sir, 
the principle we contend for is 
this, that East India sugar and 
rum— all produce of that oolooy 
in fact, but especially aagars— 
should be placed on the same foot- 
ing as the produce of the West 
Indies. My confident hope and 
firm belief is that a sufficient ^sup- 
ply of sugar will be produced in 
our own colonics. I should rejoioe 
at it ; and if it be procurable at a 
reasonable price, I shall be pre- 
pared to continue the existing 
protection, so long as our West 
Indian colonies remain in a state 
analogous to that in which they 
are placed at present" 

He did not deny, and he deeply 
regretted, the existence of great 
distress in some of the mannfiio- 
turing districts: a distress, bow- 
ever, which unhappily was to be 
found in all times and dream* 
stances. But he did not contem- 
plate with alarm the financial 
prospects of the country. He 
referred to parliamentary returns 
showing the recent decrease of 
exports to have been but nnall, 
and to have been chiefly owing to 
the late embarrassments of the 
United States, our great customen 
for those articles in which the de* 
crease had taken place. The state 
of our shipping had been not only 
not retrograde, but actually pro* 
gressive. He had been called upon 
by Mr. Villiers to make a dedara* 
tion of his opinion on ficee-trade. 
Mr. Villiers said the prindple of 
free-trade advocated by him and 
those friends who concurred with 
him was this, that without refer'* 
ence to any other oonsiderBtioni 



our true policy was^ to buy in the 
cheapest market. If such was the 
principle of the honourable gen- 
tl^nan, to be. acted upon as an 
invariable and universal rule^ 
without reference to time and cir- 
cumstances^ sir Robert could only 
say that in principle^ or at least in 
tlus application of it, he could not 
concur. He did not contest the 
principle in reference to countries^ 
if it were possible to conceive 
their existence, in which no pre- 
formed relations subsisted ; but, as 
lord Stanley said in the admirable 
speech he had delivered, in a coun- 
try with such complicated relations 
as this, of such extensive empire, 
of such immense trade, the rigid 
application of such a principle as 
this would involve us in inextri- 
cable confusion; and sir Robert 
Peel apprehended that the Ministry 
themselves would dissent from the 
principle of free-trade thus laid 
oown. If Mr. Villiers's principle 
was really and simply to go to the 
cheapest market, what could tlie 
honourable gentleman say to the 
Government proposition to impose 
8f. a quarter duty on the importa- 
tion of Wheat ^ He must, con^- 
sii^tly with his principle, insist 
upon the entirely free and un- 
restricted importation of Wheat, 
Timber, Sugar, and every other 
oommoditv. Sir Robert Peel and 
his colleagues in office had been cor- 
dial supporters of Mr. Huskisson, 
the recollection of whose authority 
confirmed him in his present opi- 
nions; and the only actual resist- 
ance to Mr Huskisson's measures 
was from Mr. Edward Ellice and 
Mr. Williams, partisans of the 
Whigs '* Yet now lord John Rus- 
sell seemed to claim an exclusive 
possessicm of the principles of Mr. 
If uskisson. (*' Hear, hear" and 
laughter,) He seemed to say, " If 

we go out of office, we will pack 
up the principles of free-trade and 
carry them away with us. {Loud 
cheers and laughter.) But such 
is our magnanimous generosity, 
that we give you notice that we 
shall stand by our principles ; and 
we will not withhold a supply 
when you demand from us a 
contribution of liberal policy. " 
Q'Hear, hear," and laughter.) 

Proceeding to the subject of 
Corn-laws, he next announced liis 
fixed determination with reference 
to that question— this declaration 
is too important to be abridged : 

'* I do then say, that notwith- 
standing the forcible combination 
which has been formed against the 
Corn-laws <— notwithstanding the 
declarations that either the total 
repeal or the substitution of a 
fixed duty for the present scale is 
the inevitable result of the agita* 
tion now going forward — ^notwith. 
standing this declaration, I do not 
hesitate to avow my adherence 
to the opinion which I expressed 
last year, and now again declare 
that my preference is decidedly in 
favour of a graduated scale to 
any fixed d u ty . {Loud cheering. ) 
I said that I preferred the principle 
of a graduated sliding duty to a 
fixed one. I said that I would not 
limit myself to any rigid details, 
but that I reserved for myself the 
opportunity of considering them; 
the principle of the graduated 
sliding-scale as compared with the 
fixed duty I bound myself to, but 
not to any details. » * » 
The noble lord will propose the 
adoption of a fixed duty 3 but I 
will offer my opposition to it on 
the ground that I do not think a 
fixed duty can be permanent.'* 

With respect to the Timber- 
duties, he said it was not a ques- 
tion upon which any rational man 

110] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

eould venture to form an opinion 
without having been put in posses- 
non, not only of the financial and 
commercial, but also of the political 
drcumstances connected with them. 
He then adverted to the state of 
Finances of the country. The 
Government talked of a great finan- 
cial crisis— they were themselves 
inainly responsible for it. They 
came.down to the Hbuse year after 
year, and announced a deficiency ; 
and now they boasted themselves 
martyrs of free-trade, and applied 
to him (sir Robert Peel) for a 
Budget. He proceeded in a strain 
of taunting severity :— 
• ^' I am by no means surprised at 
your confidence. You recollect 
that when I left office in 1830, I 
had been connected with an Adr 
ministration which, during the 
period in which it had the manage- 
zoent of the finances of this country 
under its control, reduced the pub< 
lie debt by 20,000,000/. of capital^ 
and the annual charge upon that 
debt by more than 1,000,000/. 
You remember, too, that we left a 
surplus of 1 ,6C)0,000/. of revenue 
over expenditure; and that we did 
all this with all the difficulties of 
an unreformed Parliament. {Loud 
cheers*) Now, you have had your 
way for five years. You have 
had aU the benefitof cheap Govern* 
meut {Laughter.) You hav^ 
had that superior advantage^you 
have had the Administration of 
affairs for ten years. You recol- 
lect, no doubt, the aid which I 
gave you with respect to the 
Jamaica question on a former oc- 
casion — when I enabled you to 
retain popular representative Go. 
vemment — when you were com- 
pelled to take my advice, and were 
glad and rejoiced in your coun- 
sellor — you remember all this ; 
and, if the circumstances were the 

same how, I would mun give joa 
the same advice. {Cheers.) Sir, 
I cannot but confess that I view 
with unaffected sympathy the posi- 
tion of the right honouraUfi gen- 
tleman the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer — for *^ to see a good man 
struggling with adversity,*' nys the 
poet, ^Ms a sight which the gods 
love to look upon;" — {Lau^^ler) 
— and I cannot conceive a more 
lamentable position than that of a 
Chancellor of the Exchequer seated 
on an empty chest, by the aide of 
bottomless deficiencies, fishing for 
a Budget. {Protracted cheers and 
laughter) — I won't bite*>— Anfeni- 
ted laughter and cheersy^^mad I 
^-efuse my aid, on this ground^ that 
J can see nothing less worthy of 
pubh'c confidence than my conduct 
would be were I, out of office^ to 
come forward and offer ray Budiget 
in competition with youTk" {Lomd 
qheers.) There might be anue 
young gentlemen in that House 
who would be silly enouf^ to 
fancy that he would say aomt* 
thing about a property-tax* and 
the propriety of abolishing the 
Penny-postage system. But he 
would fairly say at once, that he 
would bring forward no Budget; 
his vote that evening was upon a 
question of Confidence— •(Qppofi* 
tion cheers) ; and he would not 
endeavour to obtain the oonfidanoe 
or support of the country by »!■• 
ing expectations that he should 
bring forward plans for relief* 
ing the necessities of the coun* 
try, or encourage any predne 
expectations of relief. lie stated 
what he should do if called to 

'' No man had a right to antici- 
pate being taken to the confidence 
of his sovereign, and placed in the 
position of Minister. If it were 
in his power to do so to-monioirt 



he should endeayour to secure the 
eoniidenoe of the House of Com- 
mons widiout delay ; hut he would 
not make any public profession of 
what he would do if in office. 
He should certainly profess so far 
as this, that he should carefully 
review the circumstances of the 
country ; and that, considering the 
existence of a deficit in time of 
peace to be an intolerable evil> he 
should make some effort to equalise 
the income and expenditure of the 
eountry; but at the same time, 
whilst he asked of the House of 
Commons a manifestation of its 
ocmfidence and friendliness^ he 
should ask to be allowed time to 
eoosider the circumstances of the 
country, and the best mode of ap- 
fdyiiig a relief to the evils and 
distress complained of in it." 

His belief was, that no particular 
cttoae could be assigned for the 
deficiency. He would not mix up 
with the questions before the 
House the larger questions of fo- 
leign policy* but he declared that 
he retained his opinions in respect 
to China, and he admitted that 
Grovemment had been called upon 
to incur expenses in Canada. Still, 
making these allowances, the Mi- 
nisters were responsible for the ills 
which had resulted from general 
mismanagement* The evil had 
occuxredi not from want of indi- 
vidual ability, but because, as a 
Government^ they bad retained 
office when they no longer pos- 
aeaied the means of effecting the 
measures they knew to be neces- 
sary: because they had endea- 
voured to carry on their Adminis- 
tfation in violation of the principles 
of th^ Constitution, which they 
had given him credit for acting 
upon in 1835. It was not for the 
interest of a representative Govern- 
ment that these things should con- 

tinue. He thus stigmatised their 
tenacity of office : 

'^ Sir, I cannot think it is to the 
advantage of the monarchy that 
the servants of the Crown should 
be retained when they are unable 
to carry those measures which, as 
the confidential servants of the sove- 
reign, it is their bounden duty to. 
bring forward. It is not the mea- 
sures themselves (said sir R. Peel, 
addressing the Ministers) which 
you introduce that are injurious, 
but they lose the grace and favour 
of the public eye when it is be- 
lieved that they do not spring 
from your deliberate will—are not 
formed inconsequence of the delibe- 
rate convictions of your own minds; 
but are proposed merely for the pur. 
pose of propping up your falling 
fortunes, and conciliating the good-* 
will of a particular party, to whose 
support you look. {Cheers,) It 
is not, believe me, consistent with 
your own high character as public 
men, that you have made your 
present proposaL The public—^ 
I do not mean the needy and suf- 
fering portion of the people whose 
miseries you have affected to de-' 
scribe, but the intelligent, well- 
judging portion of the public—- 
will hardly admit that you possess 
their confidence." {Ckeers,) 

Viscount Palmerston, on behalf 
of the Chancellor of Uie Exche- 
quer, denied sir Robert Peel's 
charge, that he was fishing for a 
Budget: he had caught his Budget 
and laid it on the table : though, 
in doing so he had been charged 
with forgetting the duties of a 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, be- 
cause he had proposed to supply 
part of the deficiency by relieving 
the people from some of their 
burdens. Sir R. Peel was mis- 
taken when he supposed that he 
was asked for a Budget : 

112] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

'* What we required was this — 
and not even to-night has an 
answer heen given to the challenge 
— 'Tell us, aye or no, when we 
intend to supply the deficiency of 
the revenue by striking a blow 
at some of the great monopolies 
which have hitherto retarded the 
prosperity of the country — when 
you object on narrow and insuf- 
ficient grounds to our particular 
proposal, tell us plainly^ do you 
approve of making up the defi- 
ciency in the way we intend, or 
are you prepared to vote new taxes 
for the purpose ? * ** 

Sir Kobert Peel, he continued, 
had promised to give, with the ut- 
most frankness, his opinions on the 
Com, Sugar, and Timber questions ; 
what then did his explanations 
amount to ? With respect toSugar^ 
the only pledge he would give was, 
that for the next year he would 
not propose any change In the law. 
On the question of the Corn-laws 
he had avowed a preference for a 
sliding-scale over a fixed duty ; but 
a sliding-scale might be a very 
slippery thing. He had not de- 
clared whether the sliding-scale 
would be one materially diminish- 
ing the present degree of protection 
or not. On the Timber duties he 
had been equally indefinite — pledg- 
ing himself to nothing, until he 
should obtain the information which 
was now in the possession of the 
Ministers, and be put into the con- 
fidence of the Governor-general 
of Canada. 

For his own part, he said, he re- 
membered no great question which 
had ever been debated on such nar- 
row grounds. The question was be- 
tween free- trade— meaning thereby 
such a trade as opened the way to free 
competition — on the one side, and 
monopoly on the other — between 
reason and prejudice — between the 

interests of the many and the profits 
of the few. The Opposition had 
shrunk from grappling with this 
great issue, and had endeavoured 
to narrow the discussion to one 
collateral point, and to mislead the 
House and the country as to thdr 
real views by pretendiiu^ an un- 
bounded zeal for the welrare of the 
negroes. He distrusted the sin- 
cerity of this new-bom geel on 
the part of those who had them- 
selves been parties to the sufibrings 
of those negroes, and he ridicokd 
the inconsistency of exduding one 
kind of slave-grown produce and 
admitting others. Thoug|h we de- 
clined to take slave-grown sugar 
from the Brazilians ourselves, we 
did not scmple to assist their trade 
by acting as carriers in transporting 
their sugar to other countnes, or 
by refining it for them. Was not 
the pretence of conscience under 
these circumstances a piece of gross 
hypocrisy ? If inde^ the Mini^ 
ters had thought that their present 
proposition would give encourage- 
ment to the slave-trade, it would 
never have been made. The sup- 
pression of that traffic was to be 
effected in two ways— ^ther by 
exercise of the utmost vigilance on 
the part of our maritime polioe, 
acting under treaties with foreign 
governments, — or else by the mea- 
sures which foreign governments 
themselves might be induced to 
adopt. The measure now proposed 
would materially aid in both these 
respects. When the Whigs first c am e 
into office in 1830, the slave-trade 
was carried on to the greatest extent, 
chiefly under the flags of Spain and 
Portugal. The first thing whidi 
they did was to procure an exten* 
sion of the treaty with those coon« 
tries, and a new treatv with France* 
That was of no use, however, un- 
less they could obtain such treaties 



with every power in the world that 
had a veod sailing on the ocean. 
In thii work great progress had 
been made. He then entered into 
a summary of the negotiations 
which had heen effected or were 
in p rog r ess with various powers^ 
whtth, if successfully carried 
through, as there was reason to 
hope, would end in a combination 
of all the States in Christendom^ 
with the single exception of the 
United States Df America, in a 
general league for the suppression 
of the sbive-trade. The last men- 
tiooed pow^ had hitherto been 
deterrea by the name of the right 
of search, not remembering the 
distinction that existed between 
audi a xiglht of search as that re- 
quired for the prevention of slave- 
tnding, and that right of search 
monst which they contended in 
iEar war with us. With respect 
to Braml and Cuba, were we to 
aMert, as Viscount Sandon now 
proposed to do, that free-labour 
could not compete with slave- 
labour» we should be supplying 
them with the best of aU argu- 
ments against complying with our 
demand for the abolition of the 
slave-trade, and falsifying all that 
we had said as to the advantages 
of freedom. On the other hand, 
dMMe who on broad views wished 
to extend the principles of liberty, 
sihould desire all that could contri- 
bute to the welfare of England — 

''As long as England remains 
preeminent on the ocean of human 
affiun* there are none, be they ever 
aonnfibirtunate, none, be their con- 
dition ever so desperate or forlorn, 
who do not turn with a look of 
hope to the light that beams from 
hence. They may be beyond the 
readi of our power ; still our mo- 
ral sympathy and our influence can 
aoppmrt them under their reverses. 


and hold out to them in the midst 
of their difficulties the hope of 
better days. But if by the assaults 
of her enemies or the errors of her 
misguided sons, England should 
fall, or her star lose its lustre, with 
her would fall the hopes of the 
Africans, whether on their own 
continent or in the great regions 
of America ; and they would, for 
a time at least, be buried in de- 
spair. {Loud cheers.) I know no 
nation that is now ready in this 
respect to supply our place.*' 

He would impose duties on fo- 
reign produce solely for the purposes 
of revenue. He did not wish to 
see the principles of sud- 
denly and instantly applied to the 
derangements of established inter- 
ests and die ruin of great numbers 
of individuals. He desired to go 
on with them as quickly and as 
straight-forwardly as circumstances 
would admit. It would not do to 
urge a more liberal commercial 
policy on foreign countries, telling 
them that competition is the light 
and life of trade, while we kept 
up our own restrictive system at 
home. Viscount Palmerston then 
pointed out in detail, from the re- 
sults of his own official experience, 
the effect which our example in 
retaining high restrictive and pro- 
hibitory duties had exercised on 
the commercial policy of other 
states, inducing them to exclude 
the staple articles of British pro- 
duce by high protecting duties, and 
toresist all proposals for a mitigation 
of their tariff until we should con- 
sent to a relaxation of our own. 
This was the effect produced by 
our commercial policy upon that of 
Germany, France, Belgium, Swe- 
den, Russia, Mexico, and the 
United States. Foreign countries 
listened with polite incredulity to 
our representations, and pointed 


114] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

from our theories to our practice. 

Lord John Russell made a short 
speech in reply> and the House 
then divided on his motion, that 
the Speaker do leave the chair, 
which was negatived by a majority 
of 36— there being for the motion 
281 ; against it 317. 

Lord John Russell next moved 
pro formd the resolution of which 
he had given notice as an amend- 
ment to Viscount Sandon*s, but it 
was negatived without a division, 
and that of Viscount Sandon being 
earried, the House adjourned at a 
very late hour. 

The expectations to which so 
serious and decided a defeat of the 
Government gave rise .naturally 
produced a considerable Auntement 
and gave rise to many rumours, 
which caused the House of Com- 
mons and all the avenues to it to be 
exceedingly crowded the next day, 
it being supposed that Lord John 
Russell would make a statement 
of the course which the Govern- 
ment intended to pursue. Great 
therefore was the surprise of all 
present when the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer rising in his place, 
with as much tranquillity of man- 
ner as if nothing had occurred out 
of the ordinary course of business, 
gave notice that on the Monday 
following in a Committee of Ways 
and Means he should move the 
usual annual sugar duties. 

Expectation was still alive, and 
attention was fixed on the minis- 
terial leader, when Lord John Rus- 
sell rose and simply moved that the 
House at its rising should adjourn 
to the Monday following. 

The Earl of Darlington then, 
with much energy said, that he 
had been relieved of all suspense 
as to the intentions of the Govern- 
ment; "it was plain that they meant 
to stay in office — with a tenacity 

—•he must be allowed to 8ay<«*iiii- 
paralleled in the history of govern- 
ments> and with the deuberate 
decision of the House of Gommoiis 
unequivocally declared against 
them " (cheers and cries of order) 
he demanded to know, '' when did 
Lord John Russell intend to fating 
on the question of the Com-lawf JT 

Lord John RusselU-^'on Fridy^r, 
the 4th of June," 

The House then adjourned. 

The design of the WhigMinistry 
was now obvious. To pan over in 
silence their recent defeat on the 
Sugar-duties— and having got the 
necessary supplies, to being on a 
discussion on the Com-lawa» and 
dissolve Parliament while the fne- 
trade agitation was at flood. The 
note of preparation for a genenl 
election was accordingly at onae 
sounded throu^bout me caaabtft 
and the work m canvaaring wptttir 
ily commenced. But the motioui 
of the Government were keenly 
watched by opponents who were 
not disposed to let them lo eaaUy 
evade the consequences of their 
recent defeat. Intent on fdlowing 
up his victory at the earliest mo- 
ment. Sir Robert Peel on the first 
day on which the House met after 
its temporary adjoummeat startled 
the Treasury Bench by giiving no- 
tice that he should move on the 
ensuing Thursday (the 27th May) 
a resolution to the following eflbet 

'' That her majesty's Miniitefs 
do not sufficiently possess the con- 
fidence of the House of Commons 
to enable them to carry through the 
House measures which they deem 
of essential importance to the pab- 
lic welfare ; and that their eon- 
tinuance in (»ffice under aueh cir- 
cumstances is at variance with the 
spirit of the constitution/' 

After this announcement had 
been made, causing enthusiastie 



cheering from the Conservative 
benches, a question was put by 
Mr. Walter relative to the inten- 
tion of Government as to the Poor- 
law Act Amendment Bill, to 
which Lord John Russell answered, 
that it was not his intention to 
proceed with that bill this session. 
Considerable sensation was excited 
hf thiiattnouneement. He after- 
wafds Mid, that he did not think 
it pmetietMe in the present state 
ef^blio business to carry the BiU, 
ana he feared that many motions 
and speeches would be made upon 
it with a view to the hustings 
alone; but he desired. to be un- 
testood as having in no degree 
diaitged his opinion upon the prin* 
dple of the measure. 

TheChanoellor of the Exchequer 
tiben tnoYed, pursuant to notice, 
tiie usual rssohition for continuing 
tiw antroal Sugar-duties. The 
nodott found an unexpected se- 
omdte^ in Bur Robert reel, who 
quoting the commencement of Vis- 
aoQBt Sgndon's resolution against 
the admission of foreign sugar, 
ofassrfed that after concurring in 
ttat, he oonld have no intention 
to reftrse the duties on the free- 
Ubour sugar of our own colonies, 
and should therefore ofier no re- 
sistanoe to the present proposal. 
He did not desire to stop the sup- 
plies ; being of opinion that the 
question at issue between the Min- 
isters and the Opposition might be 
more conveniently tried upon a 
motion of want of confidence. 

After some strong observations 
«iKm Sir Robert Peel's policy by 
Sir de Lacy Evans and Mr. Hume, 
Lord John Russell observed that 
Sir Robert Peel did right in not 
Tvading that part of Viscount San- 

don's resolutions which went on 
the grounds of humanity. Every 
one knew that this was a mere pre- 
text, and it had taken in no one 
except Dr. Lushington. He then 
took occasion to correct some mis- 
representation of his former speech 
on the sugar question. And after 
a few words from Mr. Wakley, 
who disavowing all regard to the 
distinctions of Whig and Tory, 
promised to give his support to Sir 
Robert Peel, if he would promise 
larger concessions to the people 
than the Whigs, the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer's resolution was 
agreed to. 

In the House of Lords at the 
same time some animated discus- 
sions upon the Com-laWs, though 
merely desultory, and arising upon 
the presentation of petitions, served 
to keep up the public excitement 
on that subject, while nublic meet- 
ingN in all parts of the kingdom, at 
which the partisans of free-trade 
and protection respectively stirred 
up the feelings of their several ad- 
herents, gave note of the contest 
that was approaching. The news- 
papers began to be nlled with de- 
tails of arrangements for the ex- 
pected elections, and announcement 
of candidates for the various con- 
stituencies. Such was the highly- 
wrought state of the public mind 
at the time when the resolution of 
Sir Robert Peel, which was to de- 
cide finally whether the Ministers 
retained a majority in the House 
of Commons, came on for discus- 
sion. The debate, however, to 
which it gave rise, and the con- 
sequences which ensued upon it, 
must find a place in the following 




Debate on Sir R. Peel's Resoluiion of Want of Cojifidence in tie 
Government^His Speech in introducing it'^CitatioH of kuUniM 
Precedents — Distinction drawn between the present case and thai q^ 
Mr. Pitty in 1784 — Speeches of Mr. Christopher, Sir Jamee Gra* 
ham, Sir William FoUett, Mr. Serjeant Jackson, and Lord Siamleji, 
in support of the Resolution — Speeches of Lord JVorsley, Sir J» 
Hobhouse, Mr. Macaulay, Dr. Lushington, Mr. Handley, Mr. 
O'Connell, Viscount Morpeth, and Lord John RusseU, in d^enceof 
the Government-^Division and Majority of one in favour 0^ Uie 
Motion — Lord John Russell states the course determined onhyike 
Ministers-^He declares their intention to dissolve Parlkmeni at 
once, without a discussion on the Com Laws^^His proposal resped* 
ing the Estimates-^Speech of Sir R. Peel-^He demands a piedge 
that the new Parliament shall be convoked at the earUesi period'^ 
Lord John Russell undertakes to this effect^^Speeches of Mr. Wak^ 
ley, Mr. VilUers, Mr. Labouchere, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Mr. Herries, and Mr. Goulburn — The Estimates are voted wiihmA 
opposition — Subsequent proceedings in the House of Commom»'^Pre» 
parations for the Elections — A large number (f Bills in propt u 
are abandoned: some others carried-^ Administration of justice in 
Chancery Bill^^Sir E. Sugden proposes to postpone its operaikm tUl 
the lOth of October-^'Object of this Motum-^Lord John BmeseB 
strongly opposes it^^It is supported by Sir Robert Peel, and carried Im 
a majority qflQ-^Lord John Russell throws up the BiU-^Remans 
of Sir D. Evans on the conduct of the Opposition — Speech of lard 
Stanley — Observations of Sir Robert Peel on the transaetiiom^* 
Parliament prorogued by the Queen in person, on the 22fuf qfJwse 
'-^Address of the Speaker to Her Majesty-^The Queen* s Speech 
Proclamation issued for the Dissolution of Parliament'-^Reviem qfthe 
Session^-^General Remarks. 

duced his resolution of want 
of Gtiifidence in the Government, 
mUh a speech of great lengthy and 
maiked by his usual ability. He 
commenced by saying, that after 
the repeated defeats of the Govern- 
ment, indicative of a withdrawal 
uf the confidence of the House, and 
of their inability to give effect to 

measures which they deemed im* 
portant to the public weUari^ and 
after the Chancellor of tlie Ei- 
chequer's notice^ unaccompanied hr 
any explanation, that it was idu 
his intention to proceed with the 
public business, he felt it was in- 
cumbent upon him to bring the 
question thus at once to issue, and 
Mislead of doing so by any 



blow, such as stopping the sup- 
pHes, or obstructing some impor- 
tant bill, he preferred settling the 
controversy in this open and direct 
manner. His resolution affirmed 
two propositions — the first of which 
was, that the Ministers did not 
sufficiently possess the confidence 
of the House to enable them to 
carry measures which they deemed 
of essential importance to the pub- 
lic wdfare. Was it necessary for 
liim, looking at the whole con- 
tinuous course of their legislation, 
to adduce detailed proot of that 
proposition ? If this were incon- 
trovertible^ then the second propo- 
sition would necessarily follow, 
tiiat their continuance in office was 
at variance with the spirit of the 
constitution^ such as it had been 
ever since the accession of the 
House of Hanover. In affirmance 
of his view he could cite the au- 
diority of every important writer, 
and die practical course of every 
Administration. He began with 
Sir Robert Walpole. That minis- 
ter had held office for a period of 
twenty-five years. A motion was 
made by Mr. Pulteney, which im- 
plied a withdrawal of the confi- 
dence of the House. This was de* 
fetted by a majority of 3. But 
subsequently Sir R. Walpole, find- 
ing hmiself in a minority upon the 
Chippenham election, notwith- 
stanmngilie slight majority on the 
question of confidence^ relinquished 
office. In the vear 1782, Lord 
North, after he had defeated two 
fesolutions of want of confidence, 
though by but small majorities, 
yielded to what he felt to be the 
sense of the House of Commons, 
and rerigned. In the year 1804, 
Lord Sidmouth, finding his majo- 
ri^ reduced to 37, thought it his 
dn^ to retire. In 1812, a ma- 
JoriQr of four upon the motion of 

Mr. Stuart Wortley was decisive of 
the fate of Lord Liverpool's Ad« 
ministration. The next Adminis- 
tration which yielded to the force 
of public opinion, was that of the 
duke of Wellington in 1830. Be- 
ing defeated by a combination of 
parties entertaining opposite opin- 
ions, on a motion to refer the Civil 
List to a select committee, that 
Ministry retired from office. The 
last case was that of his own Ad- 
ministration, in 1835. The first 
time that he found a positive 
obstruction presented to any act 
of legislation, he had felt it his 
duty to resign. For some time 
previous to his retirement, Lord 
John Russell was day by day re- 
ferring to what he called *' the old 
constitutional doctrine," that *the 
Government ought to possess the 
confidence of the House of Com- 
mons, and as soon as he carried a 
resolution, that no adjustment of 
the Irish Tithe question could be 
satisfactory, except the one he ad- 
vocated, he (Sir R. Peel) gave up 
the reins of power. 

In his enumeration of prece- 
dents he had omitted one, that of 
Mr. Pitt, in 1784. As this case 
was relied upon by the Whig 
party* as affi)raing a justification 
of their course, Sir Robert Peel en- 
tered into a minute recapitulation 
of all the circumstances connected 
with the transaction. He pointed 
out the distinction, that in Mr. 
Pitt's case the resolutions, repeat^ 
edly carried, by which the House 
of Commons disaffirmed their con- 
fidence in the Ministry, were pre- 
vious to any one act of his Govern- 
ment being submitted to the House 
of Commons. After stating the 
facts, he thus deduced the infer- 

'^ The objection, then, to the 
continuance of Mr. Pitt in office) 

118] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

was not tbat the confidence of the 
House of Commons bad been witb- 
beld from the measures be pro- 
duced : there were surmisesi tnere 
were allegations^ tbat Mr. Pitt 
owed his power to the exercise of 
undue influence — tbat the king's 
name bad been made use of for 
the purpose of influencing elec- 
tions. Resolutions were affirmed 
implying objections, not to the acts 
of his Government^ but to the 
principle on which it was consti- 
tuted; and the battle which Mr. 
Pitt was then fighting was not in 
opposition to the principle that a 
Minister ought to have the confi- 
dence of the House of Commons 
for the purpose of carrying on the 
Government, but Mr. Pitt con- 
tended that Mr. Fox, having a 
majority in the House of Com- 
monSj was attempting to control 
the constitutional prerogative of 
the Crown ; and, wiUiout reference 
to attempts at legislation, without 
reference to public acts of the 
Government, was denouncing that 
Administration, and implying be- 
forehand the want of confidence 
in it. Is the present, I ask, a 
case at all analogous > Am I ob- 
structing the course of a Govern- 
ment at its first formation ? am I 
depriving it of the opportunity of 
submitting its pleasures to the con- 
sideration of Parliament?" 

He then quoted the opinions of 
a series of high constitutional 
authorities upon the point, reading 
passages from Mr. Burke and Mr. 
Fox, and from the writings of 
Lord John Russell himself. He 
would refer to three events in the 
history of the present Administra- 
tion, which peculiarly illustrated 
the evil of attempting, to govern 
without possessing the confidence 
of the House. The first was the 
Appropriation Clause, which, after 

so much excitement, the MiniiCevs 
finally abandoned. The next was 
the Jamaica Bill, on which theie 
Ministers themselves exprened a 
strong practical opinion^of the un- 
fitness of retaining office withotf t 
the confidence of we House. He 
referred to the language of 1^ 
count Melbourne on thu sofajeci. 
The third case was the recent 
Budget. Afiber the importance 
attached to that measure-— eiter 
the ministeiial dedaiatkm thatit 
was to be considered as a ididb^ 
was it becoming in the C^ianoelkir 
of the Exchequer to move, with- 
out a word of expIanatioD, the 
renewal of the usual Sugar-duties? 
Was this for the credit of the 
House of Commons} It might 
appear, tbat the strength of the 
Crown's prerc^tive would support 
the Ministers against the House of 
Commons; but this was a sa|Mrw 
ficial view. The interests of the 
House of Commons and of the 
Crown were identical; and yoa 
could not intrench upon the one 
without injuring the oUier. They 
might perhaps say, with Mr. Fitt^ 
that if they had not the confidence 
of the House, they had the confi- 
dence of the country ; but it hai 
been well said by Mr. Fox^ tkat 
the sense of the country could on^ 
be constitutionally e^enoed by 
the votes of its representatlTtti 
So far, however, as any pniof was 
afforded by popular elections of 
those which had recently oocoited 
a hu^ majority had gone affainst 
the Government* It was mnded 
that they intended to appeal to the 
people: in answer to this alkga* 
tion he thus expressed himself; • 

*^ I know nothing whatever vp* 
on that subject : as a Member of 
the House of Connnons I can hofe 
no evidence of the intentioa of the 
Crowm I know jou bave thi 



rwer at any time of dissolving; 
know that you can cboose the 
most favourable time for dissolving: 
no doubt that is the prerogative of 
the Crown— a prerogative of a deli- 
cate nature^ with which it is diffi- 
cult for the House of Commons to 
interfere. But I shall have no 
additional confidence in you, if^ 
after exciting the public mind up- 
on such a subject as that of thfi 
subsistence of the people^ you in- 
tend to take that opportunity of 
dissolving Parliament and appeal- 
ing to the people on that question. 
I firmly believe that you are not 
advancine, by that course^ the in- 
terests of the Monarchy of which 
you are the advisers." 

He pointed out the inconsistency 
of abimdoning the Poor-law Bill 
on the ground that it would lead 
to protracted discussion without 
any result, and to speeches made 
for the hustings rather than for 
the House, while they persevered 
in announcing a discussion upon 
the Corn-laws, which must be 
equally without result and still 
more conducive to agitation. He 
believed that their weakness was 
the mmn cause of all their embar- 
rassments. The Post-office reve- 
nue had been given up to con- 
ciliate those of their friends who 
had shown a disposition to secede 
on the Jamaica question^ and he 
believed it to be the same sense of 
weakness which had suggested the 
new schemes for the removal of 
protection upon sugar and timber. 
He briefly indicated his doubts as 
to the policy which had recently 
governed our foreign relations, 
especially as to China and France, 
but repeated hb reliance upon con- 
stitutional principle as the main 
ground of his motion. He had 
Seen asked to bid asainst the 
Govenunent for popuUu: favour. 

He would do no such thing. He 
had on various former occasions 
expressed his opinions upon all the 
great constitutional questions of 
the day — upon ballot, extension of 
suffirage, duration of parliament, 
&c. ; but he would not now pre- 
maturely throw out opinions upon 
temporary questions of finance. To 
show that his conduct had been 
uninfluenced by party-spirit, he 
referred to the support which he 
had repeatedly lent to rescue the 
Ministers from impending defeat, 
and to instances in which he had 
differed from many of his own 
friends, whom he was proud to see 
still retaining their confidence in 
him ; cspeciafiy to the question of 
parliamentary privilege. In con- 
clusion he said, that the present 
House of Commons had been elect- 
ed under a new constitution, of 
which Lord John Russell was the 
author, and under the auspices of 
hLs Government. If it had upheld 
the Ministry, they would have 
insisted on the reverence due to 
it ; now that it declined to sanc- 
tion their policy, it was equally 
their duty to respect its decision. 

The debate which ensued lasted 
for five nights, being interrupted 
by the intervention of the Whit- 
sun holidays after the second night 
of the debate. A great number 
of speeches were delivered on both 
sides, but, speaking generally, the 
character of the discussion was by 
no means of a high order for ability 
or eloquence. A summary of the 
arguments of a few of the princi- 
pal speakers will furnish a sufficient 
sample of all that is really worth 
preserving in the debate. The 
nearly balanced state of parties 
caused additional interest to be felt 
as to the course which might be 
taken on this occasion by those 
Members whose strong attachment 

120] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

to the interests of agriculture on 
the one hand, and their accustomed 
support of Whig policy on the 
other, seemed to place them in an 
embarrassing dilemma, when called 
upon to pronounce an opinion on 
the confidence due to a Ministry, 
which threatened an inroad upon 
those laws which they, in common 
with many others, regarded as 
essential to the protection of the 
farmer. This was the situation of 
Lord Worsley, one of the Members 
for Lincolnshire, and a warm ad- 
vocate of the agricultural interest. 
His views, however, were not long 
left in doubt. He rose next after 
Sir Robert PeeU and in a few 
words declared his resolution to 
oppose him on the question. Al- 
though he had voted against Minis- 
ters in the late division, he would 
lend his aid on the present occa- 
sion to keep them in office ; but he 
should not support their proposal 
respecting the Corn-laws. Ap- 
proving their general policy, he 
thought himself guilty of no in- 
consistency in the course he was 
now taking. 

Mr. Christopher, the colleague 
of Lord Wonley, expressed his 
astonishment at the speech of 
that noble Lord, who, at the 
late important meeting of his 
constituents, had distinctly de- 
clared, that as the Government 
were endeavouring to overthrow 
the agricultural interests, he was 
prepared to assist in the overthrow 
of the Government. Lord Wors- 
ley's only qualification of that 
statement had been, that he would 
not go the length of supporting 
Sir Robert Peel on his expected 
succession to office. But not a 
man had left the Lincolnshire 
meeting, without a full conviction 
that it was Lord Worsle/s inten- 
tion to assist in the removal of the 

present Government YetnowLord 
Worsley was the man to volunteer 
his services in favour of the Anti- 
Corn-law administration. 

Sir J. Hobhouse, af^ attempt- 
ing to vindicate Lord Woralqr's 
consistency, recapitulated the mea- 
sures which, in spite of the late 
King*s aversion, andtheoppositian 
of the House of Lords, the Minis- 
ters had succeeded in carrying. 
These were the En^ish and Soorai 
Municipal Reforms, the R^;islia- 
tration of Births, Deaths, and 
Marri^ees; the Irish Tithe; the 
Rural Follce; the Reduction of the 
Postage ; the Irish Munidpal Re- 
form ; the Ecclesiastical Duties and 
Revenues Bill ; and the Union of 
the Cunadas. During the aune 
period, they had conducted the 
foreign affidrs of the country in a 
manner which had acquired die 
highest honour throughout Eu- 
rope to his noble friend, Viaeount 
Palmerston. They had, therdbn^ 
until the present month, been ac- 
tually able to carry their measnreii 
It was true, that Sir R. Walpole 
had finally yielded to the Home 
of Commons; but when he was 

fone, it was felt that his conduct 
ad been in the spirit of thus con- 
stitution. Sir R. Walpole, how* 
ever, had before been beaten on 
his great financial measure of the 
Excise, and yet had not then re* 
signed. Undoubtedly it was tme» 
that a Government ought not to 
hold office against the Houie of 

no Government at all. Mr.Fitt 
had been defeated eleven times; 
yet he had persevered, and ap- 
pealed to the country. It was 
said that the Government knew 
they could not carry the repeal of 
the Corn-laws. Tne same tUiii; 
was formerly said of tbe kwi 
against the Roman CathoUci ; yet 



those laws had heen repealed. 
Perhaps the day would oome when 
those who had repealed the laws 
against the Roman Catholics would 
repeal also the laws ajzainst the 
Importation of Com. Gentlemen 
complained of Government for cre- 
ating agitation on the Com ques- 
tion. If the question created agi- 
tation, the hlame was not with me 
Government. Sir Robert Peel 
fimnd fault with Ministers for their 
Budget ) but he did not state what 
he would do himself. Sir J. Hob- 
house then observed upon the di- 
rerrities of opinion which had for- 
merly prevailed^ between the united 
finoes opposite to him^ upon various 
questions, such as Catholic Relief, 
and Parliamentarv Reform. Their 
leader's public life, too, had been 
such as had not obtained for him 
the confidence of the people. He 
had generally resisted improve- 
ments at first, and subsequently, 
hut too late, had yielded to neces- 
si^. There was no prospect that 
any change advantageous to the 
country could be wrought from the 
existing materials. He was satis- 
fied that the present Ministers had 
done their duty in propounding 
their recent measures ; and that ere 
long, whatever the fate of those 
Ministers might be^ their measures 
would be the law of the land. 

The next speech which deserves 
particular notice was that of Mr. 
Macaulay, who joined issue with 
Sir Robert Peel on the constitu- 
tional doctrines which he had laid 
down. He observed, that the right 
honourable Baronet had now de- 
parted from his usual cautious re- 
ierve, which generally made him 
avoid the enunciation of any gene- 
ral principles. He had now laid 
flown a general proposition, but it 
aeemed to him (Mr. Macaulay) 
y^rj indiscreet formally to pro- 

nounce upon the spirit of the con* 
stitution. It must be evident that» 
if the assertion that this or that 
course was inconsLstent with the 
spirit of the constitution were 
placed on record in the journals of 
that House, and the principle 
should prove fallacious, the House 
might nevertheless consider them* 
selves bound to act in conformity 
with their recorded opinion, and 
the greatest inconvenience might 
ensue ; for it could not but detract 
from the character of that House, 
if, on after-consideration, they felt 
called upon to declare that which 
they had pronounced to be the 
spirit of the constitution null and 
void. Indeed Sir Robert Peel's 
principle might be reduced ad 
absurdum, by showing that what 
he pronounced contrary to the 
spirit of the constitution might be 

There were 658 Members in 
that House; what security was 
there in the constitution of this 
country against a state of things 
in which 320 members of that 
House might be found strong and 
zealous Tories ; and, on the other 
hand, 320 equally strong and zea- 
lous Whigs ? Between these two 
great parties, it might be supposed 
perhaps that seventeen or eighteen 
could be found adverse to the 
strong opinions entertained on 
either side of the House, and equally 
inclined to interpose obstades to 
any measure originating with either 
party. Under these circumstances, 
how could the Government be car^ 
ried on ? The case supposed was 
neither impossible nor improbable ; 
it had actually occurred : Gh)vem«i 
ment and the opposite party in the 
House each entertained in Irish 
affairs a policy diametrically con- 
trary, and had each proposed to 
give effect to their policy in a billj 

122] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

while a small section of the House 
had voted alternately against each 
proposition and defeated it. He 
thought that Sir Robert Peel con- 
founded two very different kinds 
of confidence which might be want- 
ing. Mr. Macaulay's principle was 
this : he held that it was the first 
business of a Minister of the Crown 
to administer the existing laws; 
and if the House of Commons did 
not confide in the mode in which 
he did so, there remained but one 
constitutional alternative —-either 
to retire from office or dissolve the 
Parliament. But he denied that 
that want of confidence which pre- 
vented a Minister from carrying 
new measures^ or measures for the 
alteration of existing laws^ could 
be regarded in the same lights 
With the exception of the Reform 
Bill, there never^ perhaps^ was a 
measure of greater importance 
brought into parliament than Vis- 
count Sunderland's Peerage Bill— • 
a bill which was recommended by 
George lst> which passed the House 
of Lords, but which was rejected 
in the Commons by an immense 
majority. Did the ministry re- 
sign ? No : nor did any one at- 
tempt to say that, in not resigning, 
they had acted unconstitutionallv. 
When, in 1786, Mr. Pitt was 
beaten upon a resolution which he 
proposed^ to the effect that the 
fortification of certain dockyards 
was an object of essential import- 
ance to the safety of this country^ 
what did he say ? Why^ that he 
submitted to the defeat as the de- 
cision of the House* Mr. Tiemey 
and Mr. Ponsonby did not think 
of calling upon the Government to 
resign when defeated upon the 
question of a prc^r ty- tax— a larger 
financial measure than that re- 
lating to the sugar question. 
T&se were instances before the 

passing of the Reform Act; but 
that measure had effected a con- 
siderable change, for since that 
measure defeats ai a Government 
had become matters mcnre £ie< 
quently to be expected. Ifj there* 
fore, this abstract resolution should 
pass, and Sir Robert Peel eucoeed 
to power, there would be ibw 
months €t£ the year in which he 
would not be disagreeably re- 
minded of his own preoedenU 
Now as to the second part cf the 
question. He thought that» up to 
this time, the Ministers had been 
justified in retaining offioe. He 
would not dwell on foreign af- 
fairs, but at least he mi^t arfi 
their foreign policy had not been 
that of a weak Government. At 
home there had been alarming dis- 
turbances, and the Grovemment had 
suppressed them, without any new 
legislation, by the old constitu- 
tional law. Another difficulty hal 
been in the Administration of be- 
laud 5 and on this head the Gou 
vernment, but two years am, re- 
ceived a direct vote vi apprdbation 
from the House of Commomk He 
admitted» however, that a aim 
had now arrived. A defideocj 
had occurred, whidi must be mm» 
plied ; and the question raised by 
Ministers was, whether the Howe 
would supply it by burdening er 
relieving the country. He cer- 
tainly thought that Ministeri were 
bound to stand or fall by the pria- 
ciple they had advanced. TAa 
humanity cry had wholly failed | 
the people's minds were so for dis- 
abused; and he considered it the 
duty of her Mcyesty's servants to 
retain their power until the people's 
genuine sentiments could be ascer- 

Viscount Monseth admitted the 
moderation of Sir Robert Ped*s 
speech) and regarded the resQla» 



tion not as being factious, but only 
illogical and biBtorically incorrect. 
It was a squill to divert the Tories 
from more dangerous sport — a se- 
dative to cool their blood. It might 
be that the present Ministers were 
wrang in not resigningi after seve- 
ral defeats in a space of dx yeaxs, 
and that Sir Robert Peel was right 
in not resigoing, after a nearly 
eqnal number of defeats in a space 
of three months, unbroken by any 
aoocessy except on the malt duties, 
CD which the Whigs had supported 
him. It must, however, be ac- 
knowledged that, since the defeat 
on the Sugar-duties, the Ministers 
had no longer a position enabling 
them to carry their measures in 
the House of Commons. Were 
they, therefore, bound to resign in 
the next hour? Mr. Pitt, under 
dxcumstances generally similar, had 
Bot resided, and Sir IL Walpole's 
xesurnatioa had not arisen from any 
pofiamentary defeat. It could 
make no difference, upon the strict 
constitutional view, whether the 
Parliament were chosen under the 
same or another minister, for no 
inflaenoe whatever of ministers 
was recognised by the constitution; 
aad be did not think it repugnant 
to oonatitutional principles that the 
niniitry should appeal from Par- 
liament, though called under its 
audioes to the general sense of the 
country; especoally on measures 
which there was reason to believe 
would be gladly and warmly re- 
ceived by the constituent body. 
Sir Robert Peel had twice lectured 
the House against agitation, but his 
(Viscount Morpeth s) opinion was, 
that the country was safest when 
those whose position made them 
the fittest leaders of the popular 
caoie were willing to put tnem- 
advei^ at its head, and suide the 
agitalioa in the least oangerous 

channel. The Government had 
now proposed important measures, 
which Parliament gave evident 
signs of disapproving; surely it 
was competent to them then to 
make the regular constitutional 
appeal to the people. If they 
should find themselves in a mi- 
nority after the new elections, then 
undoubtedly it would be culpable 
in them to attempt the retention 
of office any longer. It was said* 
that no intimation of intention to 
dissolve Parliament had immedi- 
ately followed the late defeat ; but 
th(f notice of the annual Sugar- 
duties, and the abandonment of 
the Poor-law measure, were plain 
tokens of such.a dengn. To nave 
spoken more plainly at first might 
have seemed to savour too much of 
menace. The purport of those 
resolutions was obviously to nega- 
tive the confidence of the House in 
the present Ministry. A defi- 
ciency had taken place in the 
public revenue, and instead of tem- 
porary makeshifts or fresh bur- 
dens, they had proposed measures 
tending at once to recruit the cof- 
fers and extend the commerce of 
the country. The Opposition had 
produced no counter-plan. They 
would allow no importation of 
foreign sugar, they would effect 
no change in the Timber-duties, 
till they had Intelligence from 
Canada, and they would make the 
slidine-scale of Corn-duties per- 

*' Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis 

The noble Viscount then proceeded 
to pass an eulogium upon the Ad- 
ministration of several of his col- 
leagues^ individually applaudin 
in succession the labours of Lon 
John Russell, Viscount Palmers- 
ton, the Marquess of Normanby, 
and the Irish department. Power 

124] ANNtTAL tlEGIST£R, 1841. 

might pa« from their hands; he 
hoped it mifiht prosper in the 
hands of their socceasors ; but at 
all events the Ministers, he thought, 
had done their duty. 

Sir J. Graham began by ob- 
senrinc, that power had already 
passeofrom the hands of the Mi- 
nisters; the successful adminis- 
tration for which Viscount Mor- 
peth had taken credit was reaQy 
the work of the Opposition. As to 
the colonial prosperity, it had really 
been owing to the Consenratives, 
who had saved Jamaica and the 
Canadas. The results of the foreign 
policy, too, had been rather pre- 
maturely extolled, particularly with 
reference to China, where success 
would be unattended with glory, 
and failure would be the heaviest 
of misfortunes. In all the cases in 
which the Government had been 
successful in this Parliament, they 
had so succeeded by the support i£ 
their opponents, who in truth had 
been the authors of many of those 
measures. He excepted die change 
in the PosUoffice, against which 
the Postmaster-general had pro* 
phetically wam^ his colleagues, 
and of that measure he now very 
frankly wished them joy. Their 
Chunm-rate measure they had 
abandoned ; their measure of edu- 
cation without religion they had 
abandoned; their measure respect- 
ing Irish railways they had aban- 
doned ; the same fate had attended 
their several Irish Renstration 
Bilhf, their severalBills of Registra- 
tion for Scotland, and their bill for 
the Reform of Ecclesiastical Courts 
in Eneland. Now as to the Poor- 
law, tne settlement of which they 
had delayed in former sessions. In 
the present year a bill, the late 
fruit of the deliberations of Go- 
temment, had been at length pro- 
ducedi and it might have been 

expected that such a bill would 
include all the mitigatioiia which 
expenence had warranted. On 
the contrary, it appeared to have 
been framed upon die principk of 
asking for all the severity possible. 
But had the Government shown 
power to effectuate that severity? 
On the contrary, thej bad beim 
defeated in, or frisht^ied oat of 
almost every position thcj had 
taken, and now the noble Vtsooont 
had availed himself of the per- 
plexed state of public buaineBs to 
abandon the measure altogether. 
Such were die results pnidnoed, 
pardy by the im;lect, pardy Iw 
die impotence of (Syvemment. ftr 
James Graham then p roceeded to 
expose the inconsistendes of Loid 
Worsley's roeeches and votes. An* 
other member, Mr. Handley, had 

Erofessed that, so far aa in him 
ly, the question of the Corn-laws 
should never be brought foi w ai d 
as a Government question. The 
Government had avowed that diev 
had deferred the dissolation im 
they could so brins die Com qnos- 
tion forward; and now it woaU 
be seen whedier Mr. Handley 
would support them, and* if ha 
should do so, whether Lincoln* 
shire would be able to undentand 
his distinctions. Whatever mUht 
be the result of the present moticmi 
it would have had tms good eflfacti 
that it would decide or acodenie 
a dissolution, which before aeemed 
exceedingly remote and uncertain. 
Even now, however, die period, of 
that dissolution, which formed die 
only excuse of the Govemmentfiir 
retaining office, was not veiy 
clearly fixed. Even now he saw 
no security, without this vot^ Aat 
the Ministers might not wind up 
the session, and prorogue widiout 
diffiolving Parliament That in* 
deed was the course openly 



mended last night by Mr. Hob- 
house^ the near relatbn of a Cabinet 
Minister^ who probably possessed 
that Minister's confidence. In an- 
swer to those Whigs who relied on 
Mr. Pitt's precedent, he cited the 
■erere . censures passed upon the 
conduct of that minister by Mr. 
Fox. The ministerial party had 
d e man d ed to know how the oppo- 
sition proposed to proceed. Now 
he did not much value the skill 
with which the Ministers played 
their game^ though he admired the 
deight of hand with which they 
shuffled the cards; but at all 
efents they had no right to look 
into their adversaries' hands. Sir 
J. Graham^ in conclusion^ ani- 
madverted with much severity on 
the inflammatory declarations made 
in former debates by Lord John 
Russell and Viscount Morpeth^ and 
likened their tactics of agitation to 
the ancient stratagem of tumins 
out 800 foxes with torches fastened 
to their tails. He concluded with 
an animated philippick against the 
general character of the Sf Inistry. 
Dr. Lushington, though he 
wished to be understood as re- 
affirming all he had said in the 
debate on the Sugar-duties> yet 
declared himself resolved to sup- 
port the Ministers on this occasion, 
in common with Mr. Byng, Mr. 
Denison, and other old Whigs. 
He denied the applicability of some 
of the precedents which had been 
cited against the Ministers, and 
xefied on that of Mr. Pitt. He 
was not of opinion that Members 
disaj^nroving a particular measure 
of this Ministry, were bound to 
assist in bringing in a Ministry 
whose general policy they wholly 
disapproved. If the Opposition 
should obtain power, he should 
look with especial anxiety to the 
management of Ireland, to the in. 

terrupted relations of our friend- 
ship with France,— -to the question 
of general education, — ^to the cir- 
cumstances of the population in 
our colonies. He deprecated strong 
language in discussion, and re* 
gaided the present crisis as one 
peculiarly requiring calmness of 
consideration. He adverted to the 
existing distress of the manufao* 
turing districts, and observed that 
no plan but that of the Ministers 
had been suggested for its relief. 
This would probably be his last 
address to the House (the late Ad- 
miralty Bill having excluded the 
Admiralty judge from a seat in 
the House of Commons), but he 
should quit that assembly adhering 
to his party principles, and leav- 
ing, among many political oppo« 
nents, not one, he trusted, who 
was a personal enemy. 

Sir W. Follett asked, why Dr. 
Lushington, in citing the names of 
the old Whigs who adhered to the 
Ministry, had not vouched that of 
Earl Grev: was it not that the 
noble Earl, the head of the party, 
condemned the conduct of that 
Ministry ? He admitted that the 
Ministers had a right to dissolve ; 
but not a right to remain in office 
without dissolving, in order to 
moot a question upon the food of 
the people, which they admitted 
that they had no expectation of 
carrying, but which they stirred 
for the mere purpose of excite- 
ment. It was precisely to avoid 
such excitement that the Ministers 
had thrown aside the Poor-law 
Amendment Bill; but then the 
Poor-law excitement would have 
been injurious to their party in- 
terests, which, on the contrary, 
they thought the Corn-law excite- 
ment would promote. He con- 
demned the democratical language 
employed by Mr. Macaulay, as 

126] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

tending to array one class of so* 
ciety against another. The people, 
he believed, would not wUlingly 
lend themselves to such an agita- 
tion for the purpose of keeping the 
Ministers in place. Those Ministers 
had never been able, since their 
Jamaica Bill of 1839, to carry any 
legislative measure without the 
eoncurienceof the Opposition. The 
precedents relied on had no bear- 
ing upon a Ministry which lay 
under a corUinued and permanent 
inability to carry any legislative 
measure whatever. There might 
be extreme cases, in which a Mi- 
nister might retain office for a 
while against a majority of the 
House of Commons; but such a 
struggle could not be protracted 
long without serious danger to the 
Crown, and it must be a stru^le 
for a great principle. But what 
was the great principle upon which 
those Ministers had been remaining 
for the last two years in office? 
Certainly not the repeal of cheCom- 
laws and other protections, for of 
this the country had never heard 
till a month aga Sir Robert Peel, 
when in office, though he had with 
him the Crown, a great majority of 
the House of Lordn, and a power- 
ful party in the House of Com- 
mons) yet tendered his resigna- 
tion on the first check which he en- 
countered on a legislative measure. 
The Whigs themselves, too, had 
resigned upon the Jamaica Bill; 
whether they were justified in im- 
mediately resuming office he would 
not now inquire, but if that step 
were justifiable as an experiment, 
at all events its results had most 
signally failed. Then came their 
concession on the Ballot, which up 
to that time they had so earnestly 
opposed ; but they had become 
weaker, and so gave way. Vis- 
count Melbourne, the head of the 

Grovernmeni, had declared last 
June, that none but a madman 
would attempt a certain specified 
change in the Corn-laws, yet that 
very change Viscount Melboume's 
government now proposed to make. 
Viscount Melbourne had said, it 
could not be made without stirring 
society to its very foundations ; yet 
this stir they were, now hasaiding, 
confessedly without a hope of car- 
rying their plan or of raising from 
it any income that could meet the 
financial deficiency. Such was the 
great public principle on which 
they were retaining office. 

Sir G. Grey contended, that 
whereas Sir Robert Peel had as- 
serted the absohite obligation of 
the Ministers to resign. Sir W. 
Follett had qualified that ofaUga* 
tion, by admitting their right to 
the altematiTe of disaolntion. He 
could understand the objection to 
such meetings as that at Stroud* 
where Chartists came in aid €i 
Conservatives, but not the obji 
tion to a regular and dignified 
cussion of the Corn-laws in the 
House of Commons, unless on the 
ground that such a discussion wifjbt 
be inconvenient to Gentlemen op- 
posite. The question being mcieiy 
whether the dissolution should 
take place before or after a diMUS- 
sion on the Corn-laws, he believed 
that the public in general would 
expect that a discussion of the 
Corn-law should precede adiaidlu- 
tion. He wbhed for some com- 
parison between the claims of flie 
two parties to power. He wished 
to know what measures the Oppo- 
sition had introducedi to uiow 
their new love of liberal principles, 
except the Irish Registration BilL 
The House might vote a transCer of 
power from this Government to 
another, but let them beware how 
they thus forfeited the confidenoe 



wUch the xepreflentatiTe body 
ought to enjoy from its consti- 

Mr. Handley begged to reply to 
the keture which w James Gra- 
ham had been pleased to read Lord 
Worsley and himself on political 
ccmslsteney. He had never said> 
as had been asserted, that, if it 
depended on him^ the Com question 
diould never be brought forward 
as a Oovemment measure ; he had 
only saidy in denying the assertion, 
made in the newspapers, that he 
sqppiOTed of the Corn-law measure, 
that if it depended on his vote, 
Mr. Baring would never have an 
opportunity of bringing it forward. 
Mr. Handley then retorted severe- 
ly upon Sir James Graham, quo- 
tiDff against him ihe reasons which 
lie had given to his constituents in 
1835 for not joining Sir Robert 
P^'s Ministry. He said that if his 
eoDStituents should reject him (Mr. 
Ifandley) as had been intimated, 
he should at least have the satisfac- 
tion to feel that he was discarded 
ibr being true to his principles, 
while Sir James Graham had been 
turned out of his seat for Cumber- 
land fmr being false to his. With 
reference to the interests of agri- 
eulture which had been so much 
alluded to in the debate, Mr. 
Handley avowed that he had no 
eonfidenoe in the protection ex- 
pected ftom Sir Robert Peel. The 
right honourable Baronet had said 
to the House, '^ Look back to my 
speech of last year ; by that I am 
irilUng to abide." Now he had 
listened to that speech with the 
utmost attention ; and he remem- 
bered conferring, after the debate, 
with some friends of his who were 
supporters of the right honourable 
Baronet ; and they had most com- 
pletely concurred in this, that never 
Md the right honourable Baronet 

made a speech so full of renrva- 
tions, so interlarded with ^' buts,^ 
and that there was no word in the 
speech which pledged the right 
honourable Baronet to any thing, 
except the cuckoo-note of '^ 1 feel 
myself called on to express my 
predilection for a sliding-scale ;'' 
and then, turning round to the 
ever-ready cheer of his admiring 
friends, the right honourable Bar- 
<met added, ^' but as to details, 1 
shall reserve to myself the risht 
of dealing with them as I thmk 
fit." Why, a sliding scale was but 
the skeleton of protection, without 
specifying those details which form- 
ed the {uth and marrow of the ques- 
tion. He could give the rightlion- 
ourable Baronet a sliding scale, if 
he wished it, which would have 
the practical effect of a very low 
fixed duty. He asked whether he 
fixed the pivot of his scale at 70f ., 
60f.y 50s., 40s., or 30s. a quarter ? 
Where was the vanishing point at 
which the duty was to cease ? He 
called on him to give the House 
some more satisfactory information 
than be had yet done, especially 
as in his speech the other evening 
he had made use of a sentence 
which fell with omnious import on 
the ears of the farmers of Eng- 
land—" The prosperity of manu- 
factures is a greater support than 
any Corn-law." The question to 
be answered was simile enough— <• 
did Sir Robert mean to continue to 
the farmers of England their pre- 
sent protection ? For himself* he 
said, he was not prepared to take 
the bait held out in sir Robert Peel's 
political rat-trap. What did the 
right honourable Baronet intend to 
do with Ireland ? and what would 
he have thought of him (Mr. 
Handley) if he had left his friends 
on such an occasion as this ? He 
could not, however, insist on an 

128] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

answer to this last question, for 
that might be painful to some of 
Sir Robert Peel's present friends. 

The principal Irish Members 
who addressed the House were 
Mr. CyConnelly Mr. Sexg. Jackson, 
CoUmel ConoUy, Mr. Sheil, Sir W. 
Somerville, and Sir D. Roche. 

Mr. O'Connell said, that the 
real question, was, who should 
hold the reins of office ? Why 
were they to be transferred to 
other hands ^ In what past in- 
stance could the Tories affirm that 
they would have excelled the 
Whiffs ? Not in their foreign, not 
in their colonial policy ; not in 
their administration of English 
tfairs, still less of Irish. The 
present Ministers had assumed no 
unconstitutional powers, although 
in troubled times. The accession 
of their opponents would hold out 
a gloomy prospect to Ireland. She 
could not hope that the Tories 
would amend the Municipal Bill ; 
or make a just alteration as to the 
property of the Church. The 
tendency of the people to outrage 
would be exasperat^ by the ap- 
prehension of adversejuries, judges, 
and sheriffii, under a new Ministry. 
Sir R. Peel had governed Ireland 
as Secretary some years ago, and 
governed her upon Orange princi- 
ples; he had fveneone so far inl814 
as to declare, in his vindication of 
the Orange party, that their only 
fault was the exuberance of their 
loyalty. The judges likely to be 
appointed under Sur R. Peel's Ad- 
ministration would be the exter- 
minators of the peasantry and the 
enemies of toleration. Sir Robert 
Peel could not help taking that 
course, for if he did not support 
his party, his party would not sup- 
port him. The Chartists were 
now friendly to the Tories, but 
would soon be rendered hostile and 

violent by disappointment, and 
tumult would foUow. For hii 
part and his friends, he would wKff 
that they disdained the base aid of 
that squalid party. The countij 
was in distress^ yet the Tories re- 
fused cheap bread. They also re- 
fused cheap suffar, having now 
found out that wey were enenues 
of slavery, although, like the citi- 
zen in Moliere who had all his life 
been unconsciously roeaking prose, 
they had never before suspectad 
themselves of such a tenoMicy. 
He protested i^nst a change of 
Government. To support the pce- 
sent Ministry was the only chance 
of giving efficacy to the Rebm 

After a few words from Mr. 
Lindsey, Mr. Sergeant SmSkaaa 
rose. He attacked the irrelenm- 
cies and misrepresentationa of 
which, he said, Mr. 0*GonneU'a 
speech had been made up. That 
member had boasted of the even-' 
handed justice distributed fay the 
present Ministry to Ireland. The 
present MinistiT^ professed to dii- 
courafire the Repeal agitation, and 

to exdude Repealers uom hooomi 
and offices. Yet they suffired Mr. 
O'Connell himself, and aevttal 
other members of the Repeal asso- 
ciation, whom he enumerated, to 
be deputy-lieutenants, or justiees 
of the peaces and these wen tlw 
Ministers who had removedColoBsl 
Vemer from the Comnussioii fer 
simply being present at the drSk 
ing of an obnoxious toast. Mr. 
0*Connell had imputed bribeij to 
the Tories, and claimed credit to 
his own pardzans for perfect parity. 
That statement was refuted not 
only at St. Alban's and other £n- 
gli^ boroughs, but by the gross 
attempts at corruption now pro- 
ceeding throughout Ireland, oa 
behalf of the Ministerial party. 



both in money and in promises of 
official patronage. The learned 
member had stigmatised the Irish 
landlords as oppressors of their 
tenantry. He believed the learned 
member was not very lenient to 
his own tenants. The learned 
member was in the habit of at- 
tributing the state of Ireland to 
the harshness of the landholders. 
Had he not himself^ in Aprils dis- 
trained for rent due only on the 
25th of the preceding March ? 
The learned member had been in 
the habit of attacking the absent^ 
this question, as to himself, was 
pat openly in his presence. The 
causes of evil were not the oppres- 
xms of the landlords, but the 
a|;itation of Mr. O'Connell and 
his followers, and the misgovern- 
ment of the Queen's Ministers in 
the castle of Dublin. One truth 
^e learned member had uttered,— 
that the English people did not 
know Ireland. If they had known 
Ireland and the learned member, 
not one of them would have lent 
his aid to such a state of things as 
now existed. As to the resolution 
before the House, he admitted that 
a Ministry might constitutionally 
appeal from the House to the 
country, if the House did not 
apeak the sense of the people. But 
could this be the case with the pre- 
sent House, chosen under this Min- 
istry ? and under their own Reform 
Act? Mr. Macaulay had endeav- 
oured to set up a distinction in 
favour of the Government where 
its defeat was not upon an admin- 
istrative but merely upon a legis. 
lative measure. But had not their 
Jamaica bill defeat been a merely 
legislative one ? Nay, it was but 
a constructive defeat, for they had 
then a majority of five ; yet they 
took the voice of the House on 
that occasion as conclusive against 

themselves. They had now ad« 
vanced a measure of free-trade. 
Had it been concocted with an in- 
tention and expectation of carrying 
it? No; but as a resource in 
awkward times ; as a tub to the 
whale. Sometimes the expedient 
was to make the Ballot an open 
question, sometimes to abandon 
the Post-office revenue, sometimes 
to establish free- trade in sugar, 
timber, and com 1 The Govern- 
ment had been brought into diffi- 
culty by the Irish Registration 
Bills, and therefore only was it 
that this free- trade legislation was 
now advanced, 

In explanation of the charge 
made against him by Mr. Sergeant 
Jackson, Mr. O'Connell said, that 
all his lands, except one farm, were 
underlet, and that he never turned 
out any tenant. If any such dis- 
tress had been made, as was now 
imputed, it had been done by his 
agent in his absence, and without 
his knowledge. 

Lord Stanley was surprised at 
the unseemly line of defence as- 
sumed by the Ministers. They did 
not deny the first clause of the 
resolution, which described them 
as wanting the confidence of the 
House: they admitted this pro- 
position, and denied only that 
which in any other times would 
have been a mere corollary from 
it, that under such circumstances 
they ought not to retain their 
offices. Sir John Hobhouse in- 
deed had pleaded, that there were 
some measures which they had 
been able to carry ; but sir James 
Graham had shown, in answer to 
that, that of the measures so en- 
umerated, there was not one upon 
which they had not been supported 
by the Opposition, nay, which had 
not been borrowed from preceding 
Governments, from that of Earl 

130] ANNUAL EEGrSTER, 1841. 

Grey, and from that of Sir Robert 
Peel. On all those meagures of 
the Minidtera on nhich they had 
not been supported by the Opposi- 
tion, they had signally failed: 
e»ery such measure had, as Sir 
Jamei Graham had shown, been 
either rejected by the House or 
abandoned by its authors. But they 
did not even possess the conRdence 
of their own supporters. They 
had been aided a dozen times by 
the Opposition in defeating their 
own political adherents. He would 
state some initances. The Ballot 
was negatived in 1338, by 31S 
against 198 ; but to this majority 
the Conservatives were obliged to 
fumiah no less than 250. In 1839, 
Mr. O'Connell's motion to asum- 
ilate the Iiish franchise was sup- 
potted by 92, and opposed by 155 ; 
of whom 106 were Conservatives. 
Mr. Hume's motion for the amel. 
ioration of the Reform Act was 
negatived by a majority of 85 ; of 
whom 56 were Conservatives. In 
June, 1839, Sir Heiheth Fleetwood 
brought iti a bill to alter the qual- 
ifications of voters in townships : 
it was supported by 81 votes, and 
168 Conservatives helped 39 Min- 
isterialists to reject it. Such was 
the evidence that they bad lost 
power, but in the face of that 
evidence they now ventured to 
say, that they ought not to give 
up office. ButSitJohn Hobhouse 
had set up the plea that still the 
Ministry bad the favour of the 
Crown, which after all was the 
best support. He was surprised to 
hear such a sentiment. A more 
dangerous doctrine could not be 
appealed to by the Minister of a 
sovereign of the house of Han- 
orer. Of the personal favour of 
the Crown they knew nothing in 
that House, and ought to know 
nothing; and, deep as was the 

crime of that Miniit«r who MUg^ 
to abuse the perMmal favour of the 
Crown for the telfiih puipoMi of 
his own interest, de^er ^11 was 
hii guilt who dated to use tb« name - 
and supposed favour of the nre- 
reign to overawe the diacunion and 
to fetter the free ezerdae of die 
right of debate of the refn 
tives of the people of this a 
Another Cabinet Hinistar, 
Macaulay, had set up a d 
between a defeat on the I 
trative conduct of a Ministry, and 
a defeat on its legislative policy. 
But Mr. Macaulay, with all bis 
historical knowledge, had not bean 
able to find one initaiue in wbidi 
a Government had ever been foned 
out of office on account of its 
administrative pc^y alone. If 
their chief diffiuildea wen now 
found in the matter of fiaanca, it 
was because finance wM tho only 
department in which the; had not 
been controlled by othent It had 
been said that a Ministry wai ant 
bound to resign upcm a tingle it- 
feat,but this Ministry had suatamed 
a series of defeats. Ltxd StanW 
then drew an eloquent) tfwMi 
covert parallel between ilia WM- 
ness of Sit Robert Walpole'a Min- 
istry in its latter days, and the 
weakness of the preaent Whig 
Administration. It bad baen mM 
in this debate that the Crown W 
the power to dissolve Parliuncot 
True : and the people wne »n»i«i«n 
for that event as the means at Hb- 
erating themselves from luch an 
Administration. But the Clown's 
advisers were responsible for tbe 
dissolution, and what was diB 
ground on which they meant to 
justify it? No want of harmony 
between th' " ses, for both 


of Commoni, then the two Houses denying that the present motion 

would be looLight into conflict, was in the spirit of the constitu- 

IIm real ground of the intended tion. It had been atid that the 

dinolution was the hope of raising Mioistere had crippled the enersiea 

an agitation, through which the of the country, and if that nad 

Miniiten might ding a little long- been proved, he would have been 

er to office. But it wag not con- the last man to deoy, that such 

■titudonal to hang the threat of a Ministers ought to be dismissed ; 

dianlution over tte House of Com- but he appealed in refutation of 

■MM. That House ought not to the charge to the acts of the Gov-. 

canj on its debates with an eye to emment in the Mediterranean, in 

the hHsdngs. Such a threat had China, in India, in England, and 

beenusedbyHr. Canning in 1807, in Irt^nd. With respect to the 

and condemned by all the Whigs historical precedents, be insisted on 

of that time* including the present their inapplicability to the circum- 

Lord Laiudowne and Earl Grey. In stances of the present time. A 

1826, the 7th year of the first great change had taken place in 

Parliament uf Oeoi^ 4th, Mr. the Constitution ; and glancing at 

Huikinon ui^ed its approaching the legislation of the Ministers 

aspiration as a reason against the whose resignation bad been taken 

Bturing of tbe Corn-law question, for precedents, it would be seen 

What would that statesman hare that they had placed a very meagre 

aud if the proposal bad been to list of measures on the statute- 

aafce inch a question the great book. Since the Reform Bill, 

party-pivot of that day and of great changes long delayed had 

many a succeeding year? Lord been demanded, and Government 

Staidey, after reading, as a speci- was obliged to submit a multitude 

men of ttw tune adopted by the of bills to the refusal of the l^is- 

■gitBton, a handbill put forth at lature; while there was a less aec- 

StiDlid among the supporters of vile adherence to Government than 

loid John Russell, next proceeded used formerly to obtain. During 

to deal with the Inconsistencies of Lord Liverpool's Administration 

tbe members for Lincolnshire. The the repeal of the Test Act bad been 

avowed object of the resistance to carried against the Government ; 

this motion was to give the Minis, but instead of resigning, that 

tera a better cfaanca of gaining Government gave way, and even 

lime for the defeat of the agricul- assisted in the repeal. In 1827 

turiata. How if that object should Sir Robert Peel had broadly objeoted 

be carried by the Government by a to the relief of the Roman Catho< 

majori^ of three, and those tbe lies ; but in 1829 he brought for- 

votea of three of the members for ward that very relief, avowedly on 

theagricultural county of Lincoln? the ground of compulsion from 

After a levere dissection of the without. These were what were 

«ooaiitency of Mr. Handley, whom called strong Governments, yet 

berepaidinkindforhisattEKkonSir they carried their measures by the 

James Graham, Lord Stanley con- aid of their opponents, just as the 

duded hy decUring that the time presentGovernment wasaccusedof 

bad come when the forbearance of doing. Earl Grey's Government 

Iii^IJm Opposition must have an end. again was beaten upon the maltr 

^^■Atrd John Russell began by tax, and was anablad to rewind 

132] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

the vote only by the frank support 
of Sir Robert Peel. Lord Stanley 
and Sir James Graham, who were 
both members of that Government^ 
were in no wise shocked at that. 
And every other Government in 
these times must be prepared to 
avail themselves of similar re- 
sources which really were not such 
startling novelties as they had been 
represented. Lord John Russell 
then recapitulated all that the 
Whigs had done, which Sir Robert 
Peel, on going out of office in 1830, 
had left undone. He had left the 
power of returning members to 
the House, in some 150 or 200 
instances, in the hands of individ- 
uals, while the great towns of the 
country were unrepresented; he 
had left 800,000 British subjects 
in the condition of domestic an- 
imals; abuses in the Poor-law 
which threatened to swallow up 
the landed property of the country ; 
municipal corporations self-elected ; 
tithes a subject of constant dispute 
between the clergyman and his par- 
ishioners ; the poor in Ireland ab- 
solutely destitute ; perpetual dis- 
putes between the clergy and dis- 
senters on account of compulsory 
ceremonials in marriages and bap- 
tism ; the municipal corporations 
of Ireland in a state of exclusive- 
ness and intolerance. All this had 
been reversed ; and to the list of 
measures by which that had been 
done, must be added reforms of the 
criminal law and the Canada Union 
Act. Lord John Russell had per- 
haps been too sensitive on the sub- 
ject of organic changes; but he 
must say that these great changes 
had been effected without apretence 
for saying, that the country had 
been disturbed ; and the continued 
rise in the funds vindicated the 
administration of the finances. 
Now, as to some of those matters 

in which the Grovernment had 
been unsuccessful — the Appnypria- 
tion clause had been mentioned; 
but it had never been rejected by 
the House of Commons; and rather 
than persevere in annual conflict 
with the other House^ it was ex- 
pedient to wait for some diange 
of public feelings either one wi^ 
or the other. Even nov, lie 
thought it premature to consider 
that question as at rest, though it 
was his own intention to vefindn 
from disturbing it The defeat upon 
the Jamaica bill had been alluded 
to, but the Duke of WeUinctoa 
himself had given it as his ommoo, 
that the resignation ci the Minis- 
try on that occasion was uncalled 
for. The electioii of the pieMot 
Speaker followed, on which the 
Ministers had succeeded hf a ma. 
jority of eighteen votes, suhstan*^ 
tially affirming, that they had the 
majority of the House in their 
favour. With respect to the 
Budget, the question was merely 
between two courses— -either oif 
reducing our establishmentiy oriif 
adopting the proposed change in 
the differential duties; for annual 
loans were clearly out ci the ques- 
tion. Other alternative there was 
none, except additional taxation, 
either in the imposition of new 
duties, or in the increase of old 
ones. This whole question was 
of such importance that it became 
a very grave question, whether the 
Ministry should offer their resigna- 
tions, or appeal to the people. If 
they had resigned, however, they 
would have been charged with 
insincerity on these important 
questions— the other course was 
that of a dissolution of parliament. 
But the Government had never 
held out this by way of a threat. 
The threats had been from the 
other side against the members for 



Lincolnshire. Sir Robert Peel's 
intimation about the Gorn^laws 
was a very obscure one, but he 
believed his intention was to slide 
the scale down to a very low point 
indeed. On: the whole, the Minis- 
ters had thought it right to advise 
an appeal to the people. The 
state of parties in the House of 
Commons was too equally divided 
to make it probable that afiairs 
could go on long without a disso- 
lutjoni even should the Ministry 
resign office. After the division 
<m the sugar duties, the Govern- 
ment would not have thought 
themselves warranted in postpon- 
ing the dissolution beyond the 
time requisite for carrying the ne- 
cessary arrangements of finance, 
and that being admitted, where 
was the necessity of the present 
vote? Neither crime nor weak- 
ness had been proved against the 
Ministry. They left the country 
in a flourishing and healthy state, 
presenting no difficulty, except to 
racoesBors resolved upon maintain- 
ing vicious legislation, and pro- 
tecting the interests of particular 
classes of the community. 

Sir Robert Peel then rose to 
reply. He said, that in several of 
the measures for which Lord John 
RusseU had claimed exclusive cre- 
dit, he (Sir Robert Peel) had Hm- 
aelf taken part, nay, had been 
thmr actual originator. He needed 
no warning against feeling too 
ffveat security with respect to the 
Irish tithe question. He hoped 
the noble Lord would not find it 
necessary for political purposes to 
disturb the arrangement of it : if 
that should prove convenient for 
Whig purposes, the chance of its 
permanence would be a slender 
one. On the Jamaica bill, the 
advice of the Conservatives had 
caved both the Government and 

the colony. On the Ballot, and 
other similar questions, their aid 
had rescued Lord John Russell 
from his own allies. It was hardly 
necessary at this time to remind 
them of events which had oc- 
curred since the Whigs came into 
office in 1830. If the Whigs left 
the country in that palmy state 
.described in the concluding part 
of Lord John Russell's speech, how 
happened it that they had so little 
of its confidence ? The Conserva- 
tives^ no doubt, would find all the 
changes which had just been enu« 
merated, but they would also find 
a deficiency of some millions in 
that department of finance which 
the last Conservative government 
had left clear and flourishing. Sir 
Robert Peel then insisted, that the 
constitutional arguments advanced 
against his resolution were in 
direct contradiction to every prin- 
ciple sanctioned by Whig authori- 
ties. He never said or thought 
that a Ministry was bound to resign 
upon a single defeat in matter of 
legislation: the fitness of such a 
step must depend upon the cir- 
cumstances of the case, and of the 
time. But the present Govern- 
ment had admitted this fitness in 
the existing case. Mr. Macau- 
lay had, in this very debate, 
acknowledged their repeated humi- 
liations ; and so long as two years 
ago. Viscount Morpeth had for- 
mally declared their intention to 
subsist no longer upon sufferance ; 
—"Yet still," said Sir Robert Peel, 
addressing the opposite benches, 
'* you do so subsist." 

'* For sufferance is the badge of all your 

As to the distinction between 
legislative and administrative con- 
fidence, that was swept away by 
the admission of the whole of the 
Ministers, that the defeat on the 

134] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Sugar duties^ following other de- 
feats, had placed them in a situa- 
tion which left them no alternative 
but to resign or dissolve. But, in 
fact, a government rested for pub- 
lic confidence more on its legisla- 
tive measures than on the mere 
departmental administration: did 
not the measure of Catholic Relief, 
the Test and Corporation Act. 
Repeal, the Municipal Bill, the 
Poor-law, impart to the Ministers 
by whom they were propounded 
their dbtinctive character in the 
eyes of the people ? Look at the 
consequences of enforcing the dis- 
tinction :- the Crown> when desir* 
ous of influencing the House of 
Commons, would seek to place it 
in the wrong by proposing popular 
measures, for a rejection of which it 
would incur popular odium ; while 
the House would Lave no influence 
on the Government except through 
tampering with its administrative 
functions. It was said that the 
Reform Bill had neutralised his- 
torical precedents ; but he should 
have thought that advocates of 
that measure would have held it 
more strictly to represent the 
wishes of the people than formerly^ 
and therefore more worthy of 

. Then as to the right to dis- 
solve — It was said that the present 
juncture was matter for grave 
consideration : if w, his resolution 
was not so utterly groundless ; 
especially as no intimation had 
been given that Government con- 
templated a dissolution until it was 
actually announced. It had there- 
fore at least elicited the declaration 
as to the course which Government 
felt bound to take. Sir Robert 
Peel did not deny that Ministers 
had a right to diissolve; but he 
denied their right to pick and 
choose a measure to offer to the 

refusal of a condemned parliament; 
they oupht to have dissc^Fed im- 
mediately after they obtained a re- 
newal of the annual Sugar-duties. 

Sir Robert Peel vindkated him- 
self against Mr. Shdjl'simputatioa 
that he had encouraged Onmge 
societies, and referred to the part 
which, on the contrary, he had 
taken for their suppremioiu Qoei- 
tions had been put to him ai to 
the course he would porsue. No 
one had stood more totWBxd than 
he had in support of .the ^«tt<fg 
Corn-laws, in support ci just and 
adequate protection. No doubt 
he had always asserted the dem 
connexion between pros p er i ty of 
agriculture and of manufiMtuiei^ 
and he had reserved to hiaMelf 
the right of making some alteia* 
tions in the existing icale» hecanm 
he was constantly receiving im- 
portant suggestions of improve- 
ment in it from the best ftiends of 
the agricultural interest. He would 
ask a question, in his tuni;«-Hvhy 
were not the three great salgeeta 
of cotton, com, and sugar hmiAt 
forward at the beginning of the 
session ? Why was not the Corn- 
law, at least, mentioned in the 
speech from the throne? Was it 
that they had two Budgets— one fiir 
fair weather and the other for fool f 
At this moment the Ministry wen 
causing the greatest puUie mis* 
chief by leaving these important 
questions in doubt, setting paity 
against party, and stirring socieCj 
to its very foundations^ and efen 
at the hazard of giving them an 
advantage, he had resolved to take 
the sense of the House of Com- 
mons on their conduct. 

The House then went to a divi* 
sion, when there appeared fiir 
Sir Robert Peel's resolution 319 1 
against it 311 — majority in fiireiir 
of the motion L 



After the division lord John 
Russell announced that he would 
fitate, on the Monday following, 
the course which the Government 
should resolve, under existing cir- 
cumstances, to pursue. 

At the meeting of the House on 
that day, the most lively interest 
was felt as to the promised decla- 
ration of the intentions of the 
Ministry^ and the House of Com- 
mons and all the avenues leading 
to it were crowded with persons 
anxiously awaiting the result. 
Lord John Russell commenced hy 
moving the order of the day for 
the committee of Supply. He then 
said, that after notice was given 
of Sir Rohert Peel's resolution, he 
had expressed to his colleagues the 
opinion, that if Sir Robert Peel 
should obtain a majority, the alter- 
ation of the Corn-laws ought not 
to be brought on as a Government 
motion, and that Ministers ought 
not to continue in office. On 
Saturday last he re-stated that 
opinion, and found that the ma- 
jority of his colleagues agreed with 
him. He had therefore to an- 
nounce, that it was not his inten- 
tion to give any notice with respect 
to the Corn-laws during the pre- 
sent session. Not that the various 
reasons urged against the measure 
would have deterred him. With 
resard to the reproach that the 
suDJect of the Poor-laws had been 
dropped, it was to be observed, 
that that was a question of detail, 
upon which speeches would have 
been made, not to promote the 
efficacy of the measure, but merely 
to catch a fleeting popularity on 
the hustings ; but with respect to 
the Ccnm-kws, his object was to 
ascertain the opinion of the House 
on the principle of the Government 
pleasure. He thousht that the 
diieusBion of the subject would 

have tended to allay rather than to 
provoke excitement. 

He then proceeded at some 
length to give an outline of the 
leading topics which, if he had 
brought the Corn-question forward, 
he had intended to urge on the 
House ; but this part of his speech 
was listened to with some mani- 
festations of impatience on the 
part of his hearers. He denied 
the truth of the insinuation of Sir 
Robert Peel, that the Government 
had two budgets— one for fair 
weather, and the other for foul. 
He asserted that the Budget actu- 
ally produced, was the same which 
had from the first beeii contem- 
plated. He then stated what the 
Government intended to do : they 
proposed to take the civil contin-^ 
gencies, some Estimates relative to 
services in Canada and in China, 
in committee of Supply ; and they 
further proposed to follow, as to 
the Miscellaneous Estimates, the 
course which had been pursued on 
the dissolution of parliament in 
1830, after the death of George the 
Fourth — to take a sum on account 
of the Miscellaneous Estimates for 
six months from the 1st of April 
last ; which would supply the im- 
mediate wants of the public ser- 
vice, and prevent inconvenience to 
several private individuals and pub- 
lic officers. 

After the late division he felt 
that in this House of Commons 
the Government could expect no 
further majorities: it was clear 
that the country itself must decide 
the important question now pend- 
ing. The Ministers would there- 
fore make no further struggle for 
the retention of their offices, until 
the opinion of the nation had been 

Sir Robert Peel said^ that after 
Lord John Russell's denial of the 


136] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

double Budget, he felt bound to 
place implicit reliance on the as- 
surance that such a device had not 
been entertained — but that sug- 
gestion was merely an inference 
from the real charge which he had 
brought against the Government. 
The real charge which he had 
made, if charge it could be called, 
was, that if a measure involving 
80 many interests had been con- 
templated at an earlier period, — 
for it was nothing less than a re- 
laxation of a whole commercial 
policy — Parliament should have 
been informed of it much earlier ; 
and it should even have been made 
a part of the announcement in the 
Speech from the throne. He con- 
cluded that the Budget had been 
framed in accordance with the 
recommendations of the Import- 
duties Committee : but no member 
of the Government had sat on that 
Committee, and if they had deter- 
mined to act upon its representations 
the Committee ought to have been 
re-appointed. As to the aban- 
doned motion on the Corn-laws, 
he thought the noble Lord, in the 
speech he had just made, should 
have confined himself to one of 
two courses. He was entitled to 
abandon that motion, or to open it 
to the House, but he was not entitled 
to do both — not to withdraw his 
motion, and yet to state his main 
beads of argument against it. It 
would be easy now to set forth 
the reasons on the other side : but 
that could not be done without 
provoking the very discussion which 
it was agreed to waive. He was 
the more ready to forbear, because 
Lord John Russell's assigned' rea- 
nona had not carried much weight, 
and those reasons which he had 
kept behind were^ of course, not 
likely to have much more force 
than thcKi which he had stated. 

Upon the proposition of dissolving 
Parliament he would only say that 
if it took place, it shonld be im- 
mediate. He would leave the 
responsibility of that proceeding 
entirely to those upon whom it 
ought to devolve, the Ministers; 
but it was not his wish to throw 
the slightest obstacle in their way; 
although he thought the propood 
of the Chancellor of the Exche- 
quer to take the whole of the re- 
maining Estimates for six months 
was a very unusual course. If the 
prerogative of the Crown was to 
be exercised, it should he done al 
once; and the new parliament 
should be convoked as soon as pos- 
sible; not only by reason of the 
unsettled state in which all com- 
mercial business, especially the 
import-trade in com, was left by 
the newly-proposed measures^ but 
still more with reference to the 
condition of the executive Govern- 
ment, which was now recorded as 
being no longer in possession of 
the confidence of the peoplew No. 
considerations of personal or. pri* 
vate convenience ought to inter^- 
fere. Precedent was all in fiivomr 
of what he urged. Mr. Pitt^ who 
dissolved an adverse parliament in 
1784, convened the new one im- 
mediately ; the same thing was 
done in 1807, and again in 1831. 
The country, therefore, had a 
right to expect the immediate re- 
assembling of the legislature. Ho 
(Sir Robert Peel) would he satisfied 
with Lord John RusseU's simrie 
declaration that Ministers intended 
to advise the speedy convocation of 
the new parliament. There was 
no constitutional objection to such 
an anticipation* The king's speedt 
before the dissolution in 1807 had 
expressed an intention to aasemhb 
the new parliament imrtiiwitli i 
the same announcement had been 



made on the death of George the 
Thirds and afterwards in 1831. 

Lord John Russell replied, that 
though in general he did not deem 
it adyisahle to state beforehand the 
advice which the Ministers meant 
to offer to the Crown^ he had no 
objection to declare their intentions 
upon this occasion, which were to 
advise that no time ought to be 
lost in dissolving the present par- 
liament, and that the new one 
should be summoned without delay. 

Sir Robert Peel expressed him- 
self quite satisfied with this decla- 

A desultory discussion then took 
place. Mr. Villiers strongly pro- 
tested against the postponement 
of the discusnon upon the Corn- 
laws. Mr. Wakley, disclaiming 
that he was influenced by any con- 
siderations of party, demanded 
from Sir Robert Peel a more ex- 
plicit statement of his intended 
policy, and complained that the 
country had not been sufficiently 
informed of the measures to be 
expected from him on succeeding 
U> office. Mr. Labouchere repeated 
Lord John Russell's assurance that 
there had not been two Budgets 
provided by the Government, and 
asserted that they had resolved 
immediately on their defeat on the 
sugar-duties, not to retain office 
^thout dissolving parliament. He 
thought that an earlier disclosure 
of their intentions as to the corn, 
timber, and sugar questions would 
bave been highly injurious, by 
creating uncertainty and premature 
speculation in all the branches of 
commerce connected with those 
articles. However^ with respect 
both to timber and corn, it was no 
novelty that the Government had 
long been disposed to act on the 
principles which they had put for- 
ward in their Budget ; and on the 

Sugar- duties also, indications had 
been given by them of their dis- 
position in favour of freedom of 
trade. On many other subjects of 
commerce, too, the Board of Trade 
had been prepared with analogous 
reforms. The Government had 
seen with alarm the great pro- 
tected interests banded together 
on the one side, and the manu- 
facturers with the working classes 
on the other. "jThis tendency^ if 
not put an end to by Parliament^ 
would be a state of things to which 
all former conflicts were as no- 
thing, and in a juncture of such 
importance it was undoubtedly the 
duty of the Ministers to interpose. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer 
entered into a statement of figures^ 
to show that the surplus left by 
Sir Robert Peel's Government, and 
the deficiency created by the pre-^ 
sent, had been misrepresented. He 
was answered by Mr. Herries and 
Mr. Goulburn, who entered into 
details to prove the large reduction 
in the public debt which had been 
effected under the Administration 
of the Duke of Wellington. 

Mr. Hume and Sir de l^acy 
Evans denounced the policy of the 
Conservative party. The former 
said, that the fault was with the 
Tories, in having seduced the 
Whigs into an extravagant system 
of expenditure. Last year he 
would not have cared whether the 
Government were Whig or Tory, 
but since this Budget had been 
proposed, he was wholly for the 
Whigs. He charged the landlords 
with being the sole authors of the 
sufferings of the people, and aU 
leged that they were practicaUy as 
much exempt from burdens as the 
noblesse of France were under the 
ancient regime. After some more 
skirmishing debate, the House re- 
solved itself into a Committee of 

138] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Supply^ and the Estimates were 
voted without opposition. 

The session was now virtually at 
an end, for though the condemned 
parliament lingered on for ahout a 
fortnight after the preceding de- 
bate, for the purpose of enabling 
some measures of urgent necessity 
to be carried through their remain- 
ing stages^ yet all the interest of 
the political drama was now at 
an end, and the House of Com- 
mons was left in possession of a 
very scanty number of members, 
the greater part being dispersed 
through the country to visit their 
constituents and make arrange- 
ments for the approaching elec- 
tions* A large number of bills, in 
more or less advanced stages, were 
announced by Lord John Russell as 
abandoned ; some others the Go- 
vernment were anxious to proceed 
with, and they were hastily passed 
and sent up to the House of Lords. 
The fate of one measure, which 
all parties agreed ought not to be 
further delayed-«*the Bill for the 
better administration of justice, to 
which we have already referred, 
deserves a more particular notice. 
When the report of the Committee 
on this Bill was moved by the At- 
torney-general on the 12th June, 
Sir E. Sugden, who had from the 
first dissented from its provisions, 
ol^ected to its coming into imme- 
diate operation under the existing 
circumstanoes, so as to vest in a 
Government, which was then on 
Its trial before the country, the 
right of patronage to the vsduable 
appointments which it created. 
The clause which he was about to 
propose would not have the slight- 
est effect in delaying the beneficial 
results expect. d from this bill on 
the administration of justice ; but, 
consideting the immense import- 
ance of the selection of persons to 

fill the offices created by the mea- 
sure, who would hold them per- 
manently without reference to the 
party in power, he thought it very 
undesirable, under existing ciicum- 
stances, while the real ALdministm- 
tion of the country waa about to 
be determined by the people, that 
the power of the Crown should be 
exercised over such institutioiia as 
the present Bill oomprehemled* He 
therefore moved, that the Bill 
should not come into c^pemtioB 
until the 10th of October. 

Lord John Russell, with con- 
siderable vehemence, objected lo 
this proposal. He oould not wmeaX, 
to such a constructum of the vote 
which the House had lately oobw 
to, as that it was to pot a stop to 
all acts of the executive Govern- 
ment, and paralyse the Admiiiis« 
tration, until the time when the 
opinion of the country oould be 
obtained by a new pariJameot, He 
represented the present motion as 
an attempt to throw oenaure upon 
the Lord Chancellor, on whoaeim* 
partiality in the distribntaon ef 
patronage and general meiiti^ be 
pronounced a warm paneigrrioi 

Sir Robert Peel> while be inp« 
ported the motion, said it was 
needless for him to disclaim mijr 
distrust of the present Lord Chen- 
cellor, who was not in the le* 
motest degree involved in the 
question. Neither would be have 
concurred in the motion, if an Ad* 
dress to the Crown had been pro- 
posed, to withhold from tbe Go- 
vernment the exercise of patronages^ 
on the ground of the recent vole 
of want of confidencCi But the 
present motion was very diflbvnt» 
being intended not to deprive tihe 
Government of patronage, whichj 
by virtue of offioei it was entitled 
to, but to prevent it fiom env* 
dsiog that whieh wag to be the 



result of an Act of Parliament not 
yet passed. The Ministers had 
oonfened that, in the present state 
of their tenttre» it would not he 
riffht to iKopose any change in the 
ratting Coni-laws ; they had also 
declined to proceed with the Poor- 
law; for the same reasons^ he 
thou|^t the operation of the pre- 
sent measure ou^t to he postponed 
till the meeting of a new parlia- 
ment. Such a course would not 
in cdect at all delay the desired 
improvement in the administration 
of justice. 

Upon a difinon, Sir £. Sugden's 
motloa was carried hy a majority 
of 18» whereopon Lord John Rus- 
sell dedarad'his determination to 
throw up the hill altogether. 

Sir De Lacy Evans thereupon 
nuide some strong ohservationsi on 
the spirit of a partisanship dis- 
played by a parliament of mono- 
polists. These remarks called up 
Lord Stanley, who said he could 
not allow such lansuage to go 
forth to the public without an an- 
swer. The patronage of the Bill 
oug|ht, he said, to he exercised by 
those whoy when the business to 
whkh it fdated should arise, might 
be the sesponsible Government, and 
not by an Administration which 
was in abeyance. If the present 
Ministers should find themselves in 
oAce in October, they would have 
the exercise of it ; and if any evil 
should arise from the course now 
takeni it would be the fault of 
Lord John Russell alone. If, how- 
ever, notwithstanding the course 
he had now taken, he should call 
the new parliament together as 
soon as th«7 had a right to expect, 
be would even then be in time to 
introduce a new Bill, and might 
nMdce the appointments under it 
withoot opposition* 

Uu Laboacbere again protested 

X*nst the unconstitutional doc- 
B affirmed by the motion. 

Mr. Wakley coneratulated the 
House that these violent attacks on 
the prerogative of the Crown had 
origmated not with the Liberal side 
of the house, but with the Con«< 
servative party. 

SirBoDert Peel said, that the 
cause of all this embarrassment 
was sufficiently obvious. It was 
neither more nor less than this— 
the attempt to carry on executive 
ffovemment with a minority of the 
House of Commons* There clearly 
was no other alternative for the 
Government, when the House of 
Commons declared that the Admi- 
nistration did not possess its conii* 
dence, than resignation or imme^^ 
diate dissolution. By immediate 
dissolution, he did not mean dis« 
solution without the necessary 
grants to carry on the public ser* 
vice— -he did not mean dissolutkm 
without those leg^lative Acts which 
would enable them to levy duties; 
but no contested motion of any 
kind whatsoever, no act of the 
House of Commons impljfing con- 
fidence, ought to have been broueht 
forward) and it was from that 
anomalous, extraordinary, and un« 
paralleled position. Ministers being 
placed in a minority on a vote m 
confidence, and yet coming and 
asking that House fbr a fresh de- 
monstration of confidencoi that all 
the embarrassment arose. Depend 
upon it, it was impossible that a 
Government could be conducted on 
that principle. 

The Bill thus fell to the ground 
for the present; it was^ however, 
revived m the next sesstoui and 
then passed into a law. 

After this discussbn, nothing 
worthy of note occurred, and on 
the 22nd of June the parliament 
was prorogued by dM Queen in 

140] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

person. Her majesty having taken 
her seat on the throne in the 
House of Lords, the Commons, 
represented hy the Speaker and a 
numher of memhers, appeared at 
the har, when the Speaker ad- 
dressed the Queen as follows :— - 

'* Most gracious Sovereign, 

"We, your Majesty's faithful 
Commons, approach your Majesty 
with sentiments of unfeigned de- 
votion and loyalty. It has heen 
our most anxious desire, in grant- 
ing the supplies for the present 
year, to place at the disposal of 
your Majesty the means by which 
the naval and military establish- 
ments of the country might be 
placed in a state of complete effi- 
ciency ; and we entertain a strong 
conviction, that by thus enabling 
your Majesty to maintain the ho- 
nour of the Crown, and to protect 
the just rights and interests of the 
people, we have adopted a course 
which^ under the favour of Divine 
Providence, will insure both to 
this country and to the rest of 
Europe a continuance of the bless- 
ings of peace. We now tender to 
your Majesty an Act to apply cer- 
tain sums of money for the service 
of the year 1841, and to appro- 
priate the supplies granted in this 
session of Parliament; to which> 
in all humility, we pray your 
Majesty's gracious assent." 

The Queen having given assent 
to the Appropriation and some 
other Bills, in a clear and distinct 
tone of voice read the following 

** My Lords and Gentlemen, 

*' On a full consideration of the 
present state of public afiairs, 1 
nave come to the determination of 
proroguing this Parliament, with a 
yiew to its immediate dissolution. 

** The paramount importahee of 
the trade and industry of the coun- 
try, and my anxiety that the exi- 
gencies of the public service be 
provided for in the manner least 
burdensome to the oommuoity, 
have induced me to resort to the 
means which the Constitutioii has 
intrusted to me, of ascertaining the 
sense of my people upon matters 
which so deeply oonoem their wel- 

*' I entertain the hopct that the 
progress of public business may be 
facmtated, and that divisions in- 
jurious to the cause of ateady 
policy and useful legislation may 
be removed by the authority of a 
new Parliament, which I shall 
direct to be summoned withoat 

•' Gentlemen of the House of 

'' I thank you for the readiness 
with which you have voted the 
sums necessary for the dfil and 
military establishments. 

'^ M^ Lords and GenHemeH, 

'^ In the exercise of my pre- 
rogative^ I can have no odier ob* 
ject than that of securing theiu^its 
and promoting the interests ofoqr 
subjects; and I rely on the co* 
operation of my Parliament and 
the loyal zeal of my peofde fiv 
support in the adoption of sudi 
measures as are necessary to main* 
tain that high station among die 
nations of the world which it has 
pleased Divine Providence to as« 
sign to this country." 

The Lord Chancellor then de^ 
clared Parliament prorogued to 
Tuesday the 29th of June. 

On the following day, the 
Queen's Proclamation wasisnied, 
by which the Parliament Ihos pro- 



rogued was declared to be dis- 
solved , and writs for a new one 
issued^ returnable on the 19th of 

Thus terminated the first session 
of the jear 1841, and it is not too 
much to asAert^ that a more barren 
and unprofitable one, as respects 
practical legislation, is not to be 
found in the annals of modem 
Parliaments. It lasted nearly five 
months, and assuredly exhibits no 
deficiency, if we look only at the 
quantity of matter that was spoken, 
and to the enormous and unprece- 
dented protraction of the debates 
which took, place. But if, on the 
other hand, we refer to the statute- 
book, to see what accessions of per- 
manent and general utility were 
gained to legislation during this 
period, it wm appear that, with 
the solitary exception of a change 
neither extended nor comprehen- 
sive in our criminal jurisprudence, 
no single measure of large scope 
or general importance received the 
Royal assent during the entire ses- 
sion. The fact will be made more 
manifest, if we refer to the Queen's 
Speech at the meeting of Parlia- 
ment, for though the subjects 
therein recommended by the sove- 
reign to the consideration of the 
L^islature were even less nume- 
rous than usual, yet all these ques- 
tions were found, at the close of 
the session, in precisely the same 
condition as when it began. The 
reform of the Irish Registration 
remained still unaccomplished ; the 
Poor-law Amendment Act, though 
its machinery was provisionafiy 
continued, remained still unalter- 
ed; the alterations in the courts 
of Chancery, and the other pro- 
jected Law-reforms, with the single 
exception just specified, were still 
as far as ever from their consum- 
mation. In short, the whole ope- 

rations of this session might have 
been at once blotted out of the 
records of Parliament^ with scarcely 
any sensible effect upon the laws or 
institutions of the country. The 
cause which led to such unsatis- 
factory results is on the surface. 
The House of Commons came to- 
gether at the commencement of 
this session, not in effect so much 
" for the despatch of business" as 
in order to bring to an issue that 
question, upon which all other 
parliamentary proceedings turn, 
viz. which of the two great parties 
in the state should have possession 
of the reins of Government. Till 
this was decided, the Administra- 
tion was virtually in abeyance; 
the close equality of the two an- 
tagonist forces rendered all progifess 
impossible ; and legislation was pa- 
ralysed, while the House of Com- 
mons was made the arena of the 
great conflict of parties. To the 
interests of this game of political 
strategy, all other considerations 
were by mutual consent postponed, 
and the measures proposed on either 
side were regarded less with a view 
to their intrinsic merits or practical 
tendency, than as tests of numeri- 
cal strength, or instruments of 
aggressive or retaliatory warfare. 
The evils resulting to the public 
interests from such a state of things 
are too obvious to need insisting 
upon, and all parties must unite to 
deprecate its recurrence. On which 
side the scale ought to preponde- 
rate — what class of opinions ought 
to command a decisive majority in 
Parliament — is a question on which 
the widest difference will exist, 
according to the bias of individual 
judgments ; but few will dispute, 
after the experience of the session 
which has just been recorded, that 
a balance of parties so nearly ap- 
proximating in numerical strength 

142] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

as to render it impossible for either regarded as subservient to the 

the one or the other to act at all> achievement of a momentary tri- 

except for the purpose of reciprocal umph> is a state of things at once 

obstruction; and to make the high- discreditable to the Legislature and 

est interests of the community injurious to the- public. 




State of parties at the period of the dissolution of Parliament'-^Reasons 
for the decline and fall of the Whig Administration — The Whigs 
appeal to the country as Anti-Monopolists— -Election of Members fir 
the City of London — Conduct of the Ministry with regard to their 
Equity Courts' Bill, and the appmntment of the Attorney-General 
Lord Chancellor of Irelanc^Elections for Northumberland and the 
West Riding of Yorkshire — Defeats of Viscount Howick and Viscount 
Morpeth'^Mr, 0^ Council defeated at Dublin, and Sir De Lacy Evans 
at Westminster -^ Abstract and Analysis of Election Returns^^As- 
semhling of Parliament — The Royal Speech — Earl Spencer moves 
the Address in the House of Loras^-^The Marquess of Clanricarde 
seconds it ^-^ The Earl of Ripofi moves an amendment of want ^ 
confidence in the Goverftment^-^Speeches of Lord Fitzwilliam^ Lord 
Lyttleton, and Viscount Melboume-'^The Duke o/* Wellington sup^ 
ports the Amendment^ and censures the use made of the Queen's 
name in the Royal Speech — Viscount Melbourne explainS'-^Speeches 
of the Duke of Richmond, the Marquess of Lansdowne, and the 
Marquess rf Northampton — Lord Brougham declares that lie shall 
vote %n favour of the Address, but attacks the conduct of Ministers'^ 
Division on the question of the Address, and defeat of Ministers, 

THE (liBSolution of Parliament 
having taken place, both the 
great parties in the state^ known 
under the names of Conservatives 
and Liberals^ prepared themselves 
for the struggle which was imme- 
diately to ensue at the general 
election. But the hopes and ex- 
pectations on the two sides were 
widely different. The Conserva- 
tive party had been^ throughout 
the country, increasing in numbers 
and strength for a long period. 
Their ranks had been recruited by 
a large accession of those who> al- 
though they had supported the 
Reform Bill^ and been accustomed 
to identify themselves with the 
Liberal cause, yet believed now 

that the time was come when the 
exigencies of the country impera- 
tively demanded a strong and e£S[- 
cient government, and who were 
willing to accord to Conservative ^ 
statesmen the merit of being ready 
to support all measures of real 
amendment, knowing, as they well 
did* that the latter only had the 
power to carry such measures into 
effect. Many, who still stood aloof 
from the Conservative party, and 
professed jealous suspicions of its 
future policy, were not averse to 
give it a trial in the possession of 
power; hoping that an exclusion 
of ten years (with a brief interval) 
from office, might have disposed it 
to look with more favour on their 


own views of what was best for 
the nation. They saw clearly that 
the large and comprehensive mind 
of the distinguished leader of that 
party. Sir Robert Peel, had no 
sjrmpathy with a narrow or ultra 
system ; that he had, in all mat- 
ters of trade and commerce, beea 
the advocate of measures which 
tended to give free scope to the 
energies of the country, and had 
given his zealous co-operation, 
while at the head of .the most 
powerful Opposition ever known in 
parliament, in furthering the cause 
of practical reform. The sands of 
the Whig party were well nigh 
run out ; and owing to the conduct 
of the Government during the later 
period of its existence, a combina- 
tion of interests was raised up 
against Ministers, which rendered 
an appeal to the country on their 

Sart an almost suicidal act. They 
ad never possessed the confidence 
of the Church, and the large and 
influential body of the clergy was 
decidedly against them. The land- 
owners and farmers, amongst whom 
the strength of the Conservatives 
had always chiefly lain, were united 
in opposing a Ministry which had 
agitated the question of the Corn- 
laws. The mercantile body was 
alarmed at the attack which had 
been so suddenly made upon our 
West Indian and Canadian inter- 
ests, in the articles of sugar and 
timber ; and all agreed in an anx- 
ious desire to get rid of a Govern- 
ment which seemed to pursue no 
settled line of determinate policy, 
but to depend upon temporary ex- 
pedients, and bring forward its 
measures from time to time, in 
order to gain popular support, 
rather than from any conviction 
of their own intrinsic merit and 
expediency. It could not be dis- 
guised that the proposal of a fixed 

duty on com instead of the sliding- 
scale, and the reduction of the 
duties on West Indian sugar and 
Canadian timber, were no part of 
any system of free-trade policy 
pursued by Viscount Melbourne 
and his colleagues ; for, during 
their long tenure of office, they 
had brought forward no measures 
of a similar character~-they had in 
no respect unfettered trade; and 
had emphatically denounced any 
tampering with the Corn-laws; 
and therefore the constituencies of 
the country looked with suqncion 
upon such proposals when th^ 
were made at the eleventh hour, 
after so many defeats and so many 
failures. Even the extreme sec- 
tion of the Liberal party, the more 
violent Radicals, had ceased to 
place any confidence in the Whigs. 
The doctrine of ''finality," as 
asserted by the latter, was whdDy 
repudiated by them; and nume- 
rous occasions had occurred of late, 
in which the Whig party had been 
spared the ignominy of beine de- 
feated by their Radical ulfei^ 
through the intervention oi the 
Conservatives. The Radically how- 
ever, though alienated from the Go- 
vernment, did not, as a body, desert 
it in the last strugele. If thej 
liked the Whigs litSe, they dis- 
liked the Conservatives more; and 
to exclude the latter from power 
was their great object. The aolj 
mode of effecting this, was to keep 
or reinstate the former in power ; 
and hence Radical support, how- 
ever grudgingly and unwillingly 
given, might be reckoned upon bj 
the Whigs in the approaching con- 

The Ministry and its partisuis 
were wise enough to see what was 
the safest ground for them to take 
in appealing to the people. Their 
ultimate ddeat had happened in 



cohsequence of certain financial 
measures which they brought for- 
ward in their Budget. These 
measures bore the specious charac- 
ter of a removal of disabilities from 
trade. The interests which they 
attacked were called ^' monopolies" 
—a word odious in its signification 
^-and which was for the first time 
applied to every species of protec- 
tion given to commerce or agricul- 
ture. Thus the whole of the land- 
owners were styled monopolists, 
because, for the encouragement and 
protection of native agriculture^ 
the legislature had imposed a duty 
on the admission of foreign com. 
The same term was applied to the 
body of West Indian proprietors, 
bscause their interests were pro- 
tected by a duty on foreign sugar ; 
.and in the same way it was at- 
tempted to excite popular odium 
against other classes^ as favoured 
in the acquisition of wealth at the 
expense of the community. All 
who opposed the Melbourne ad- 
ministration were subjected to the 
same charge, while the supporters 
of that government assumed to 
themselves the name of Anti- 

It is also worthy of notice that* 
throughout the struggle at the 
elections, the pretensions of the 
Whig Ministry to support were not 
rested on past performances, but 
on future promises. It was not 
what they had done, but what 
they intended to do, that was put 
forward as their claim upon popu- 
lar sympathy. They represented 
their fall as occasioned'by an attack 
upon selfish dass interests, and by 
an attempt to act upon large and 
enlightened views of commercial 
policy ; and kept, as much as pos- 
sible, in the back -ground, the real 
causes of their weak and tottering 
condition in parliament. 


The Conservatives, however, al - 
though they did oppose the minis- 
terial propositions of a fixed duty 
on com, and of a reduction of the 
duty on foreign sugar, under the 
particular circumstances of our 
West Indian possessions, yet openly - 
declared that these v^ere not the 

f rounds on which they sought to 
eprive the Government of power. 
They maintained that the issue 
which the country had to try, was 
not whether these propositions 
might or might not be beneficial, 
but whether the Whig Ministry 
did or did not, by the whole his- 
tory of its past conduct, deserve 
the present confidence of the peo- 
ple. The indictment which they 
preferred contained a long cata- 
logue of offences ; and they denied 
the right of the accused party to 
select one or two articles of charge, 
and plead only to them. Anti- 
monopoly was, however, taken as 
the watchword of the Liberal 
party ; and thereby a vain attempt 
was made to enlist popular feeling 
in its behalf. 

One of the most interesting 
struggles was that for tbe repre- 
sentation of the city of London, 
owing to the circumstance that 
Lord John Russell himself was a 
candidate for the suffrages of the 
electors. During the late parlia- 
ment the four members had all 
been Liberals ; on the present oc- 
casion four Conservatives, Mr. 
Lyall, Mr. Masterman, Mr. Wol- 
verly Attwood, and Mr. Alderman 
Pirie, offered themselves as candi- 
dates, and the result was, that two 
Conservative and two Liberal mem- 
bers were returned ; a Conserva- 
tive (Mr. Masterman) being at the 
head of the poll, and Lord John 
Russell at the bottom, with a ma- 
jority of only 7 over the third 
Conservative candidate^ who failed. 

146] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

In the coynties the elections 
went against the ministry by an 
overwhelming majority ; and even 
in the towns and manufacturing 
districts^ it was found that the cry 
of ** cheap bread," which was 
everywhere raised, met with a for- 
midable rival in the counter-cry of 
" low wages," which were pre- 
dicted as the certain consequence 
of a fall in the price of the staple 
necessary of subsistence. One or 
two circumstances, also, had just 
occurred, which brought additional 
odium upon the government, and 
gave their opponents convenient 
topics of accusation on the hust- 
ings. One of these was their re- 
cent abandonment of their bill for 
creating two new Equity Judges, 
on the sole ground that a clause, 
inserted by Sir Edward Sugden, 
had been carried in the House of 
Commons, whereby the appoint- 
ment of the new judges was to be 
postponed until the rollowing Oc- 
tober ; and thus patronage would 
be wrested from their grasp, in 
case, as seemed inevitable, they 
were driven from office iu the 
mean time. The other was, their 
calling upon Lord Plunket to re- 
sign the Chancellorship of Ireland, 
after the dissolution of parliament 
— which he was very reluctant to 
do — in order that their Attomey- 

feneral (Sir John Campbell) might 
e promoted to that high office. 
This excited at the time a burst of 
indignation, which was not much 
allayed by the assurances which 
were given that the new Lord 
Chancellor would not receive any 
pension on ceasing to hold the 
seals of Ireland. If such a pen- 
sion were paid, under the circum- 
stances of the appointment, it was 
looked upon as a gross and un- 
justifiable job ; and if not, it was 
an acknowledgment of ministerial 

weakness and foreboding of defiaat, 
to be compelled to bestow so high 
an office on their Attomej-genenil 
upon such terms. 

Not the least ^gnificant signs 
of the times were the defeat of 
Lord Morpeth in the WeA Ridii^ 
of Yorkshire, and of Lord HowicK 
in Northumberland. . In the gene- 
ral election that took place in Au- 
gust, 1837, the hon. Stuart Wort- 
ley stood as the Conservative can- 
didate for the West Riding, and 
the numbers at the close of the 
poll were as follows : 

For Lord Morpeth ... 12,576 
Sir G. Strickland 11,892 
Hon. S. Wortley 11,489 

But on the present occasion, two 
Conservative members, Mr. Wort- 
ley and Mr. Denison were returned, 
after a severe contest. The nuah- 
bers stood thus : 

Hon. S. Wortley 13,165 

Mr. Denison ••• 12,780 

Lord Morpeth ... 12,080 

Lord Milton ... 12,031 

and it should not be forgotten that 
the West Riding constituency em- 
braces a large manufacturing popu- 
lation. Mr. O'Connell also was 
defeated in DubHn, and two Con- 
servative members, Messrs. West 
and Grogan, were returned tat 
that city. Even in Westminster, 
which has been usually regarded 
as an impregnable stronehold of 
the Liberal party, the Conserys^ 
tives were able to wrest a seat 
from their opponents, and Sir De 
Lacy Evans was compelled to give 
way to the .hon. Captain Rous, as 
the representative of its numerous 
constituency* Upon the whok 
returns, the result was more &- 
vourable to the Conservative cause 
than had been anticipated by the 
most sanguine of that party ; and 
it seemed certain that Sir BobM 



Peel would oommand a stronger 
and more efficient majority^ than 
bad supported any minister in par- 
liament for a long period. 

We subjoin in a note an abstract 
of the election returns^ with an 
analysis which may prove inter- 
esting to our readers.* 

On the 19th of August the new 
session of parliament was opened 
by commission, and on the 24th the 
Lord Chancellor read in the House of 
Lords the following royal Speech : 
'^ Mif Lords and Gentlemen^ 

*' We are commanded by her 
Majesty to acquaint you» that her 

Majesty has availed herself of the 
earliest opportunity of resorting to 
your advice and assistance after the 
dissolution of the last Parliament. 

** Her Majesty continues to re« 
ceive from Foreign Powers sratif- 
fying assurances of their desire to 
maintain with her Majesty the 
most friendly relations. 

" Her Majesty has the satisfac- 
tion of informing you, that the 
objects for which the Treaty of 
the 15 th Julv. 1840, was con- 
eluded between her Majesty, the 
Emperor of Austria, the King of 
Prussia, the Emperor of Russia, 






' England and Wale^ 
' Scotland . • « • « 
Ireland •••••' 



• 22 


• • 



1 04 

•• • ■ 
• • 


1 - 







. . 76 


This aggregate inclades the following divisions: — 







Enoubh Counties . . . 



• • 


Universities . . 

• • 




Cities and Boroughs 




• ■ 

Scotch Counties . • • 



• • 


Cities apd Boroughs 




■ • 

Irish Counties . . . 




• • 

University • . 
Cities and Boroughs 

• • 


• • 


. 23 



• • 






Ekolibh Cities and Boroughs 

Counties . 
Scotch Boroughs 

Counties . 
Irish Cities and Bi 

Counties * 





)ughs . . . 









>ughs . . . 








148] ANNUAL REGISTER,- 1841. 

and the Sultan, have been fully 
accomplished ; and it is gratifying 
to her Majesty to be enabled to 
state, that the temporary separa- 
tion which the measures taken in 
the execution of that treaty cre- 
ated between the contracting par- 
ties and France has now ceased. 

" Her Majesty trusts that the 
union of the principal Powers up- 
on all matters affecting the great 
interests of Europe, will afford a 
firm security for the maintenance 
of peace. 

'< Her Majesty is glad to be able 
to inform you, that in consequence 
of the evacuation of Ghorian by the 
Persian troops, her Majesty has 
ordered her Minister to the Court 
of Persia to return to Teheran. 

" Her Majesty regrets that the 
negotiations between her Plenipo- 
tentiaries in China and the Chi- 
nese Government have n^t yet 
been brought to a satisfactory con- 
clusion, and that it has been neces- 
sary to call into action the forces 
which her Majesty has sent to the 
Chinese seas ; but her Majesty still 
trusts that the Emperor of China 
will see the justice of the demands 
which her Majesty's Plenipoten- 
tiaries have been instructed to 

** Her Majesty is happy to in- 
form you, that the differences 
which had arisen between Spain 
and Portugal about the execution 
of a treaty concluded by those 
Powers in 1835, for regulating the 
navigation of the Douro, have been 
adjusted amicably, and with ho- 
nour to both parties, by the aid of 
her Majesty's mediation. 

*' The debt incurrred by the 
Legislature of Upper Canada^ for 
the purposes of public works, is a 
serious obstacle to further improve- 
ments, which are essential to the 
prosperity of the United Province. 

Her Majesty has authoriiied the 
Governor-general to make a com- 
munication on the subject, to the 
Council and Assembly of Canada. 
Her Majesty will direct the papers 
to be laid before you, and [she] 
trusts that your earnest attentkm 
will be directed to matterB ao ma- 
terially affecting the welfiaun of 
Canada and the strength of tlie 

^* Gentlemen of the House 

** We have to assure you that 
her Majesty relies with entire coa- 
fidence on your loyalty and seal to 
make adequate provision for tlie 
public service, as wdl as for ihe 
further application of sums granted 
by the last Parliament. 

*' My Lords and Genilemen, 

" We are more .especially com- 
manded to dedare to you, that the 
extraordinary expenses which the 
events in Canada^ China, and the 
Mediterranean have occasioned, 
and the necessity of maintaining a 
force adequate to the protection 
of our extensive possessions, haTe 
made it necessairy to consider the 
means of increasing the puhlic 
revenue. Her Majesty is anxioos 
that this object should be dhcttd 
in the manner least burdensome to 
her people ; and it has appeared to 
her Majesty^ after full delibera- 
tion, that you may at this juno* 
ture properly direct your attention 
to the revision of duties affecting 
the productions of foreign coun- 
tries. It will be for you. to con- 
sider whether some of these duties 
are not so trifling in amount as to 
be unproductive to the revenue 
while they are vexatious to com- 
merce. You may further examine 
whether the principle of protec- 
tion, upon which others of these 
duties are founded, be not carried 
to an extent injurious alike to the 



income of the State and the inter- 
ests of the people. 

" Her Majesty is desirous that 
you should consider the laws which 
regulate the trade in com. It 
wm be for you to determine whe- 
ther these laws do not aggravate 
the natural fluctuations of supply 
—whether they do not embarrass 
tradej derange the currency, and 
by their operation diminish the 
comfort and increase the privations 
of the great body of the commu- 

" Her Majesty^ feeling the deep- 
est sjrmpathy with those of her 
subjects who are now suffering 
from distress and want of em- 
ployment, it is her earnest prayer 
that all your deliberations may be 

fuided by wisdom, and may con- 
uce to the happiness of her be- 
loved people." 

Earl Spencer rose to move the 
Address, and said, that he was sure 
their Lordships would join with 
him in an expression of satisfaction 
that this country was in friendly 
communication with the other 
powers of Europe. They must 
all too feel rejoiced at the renewal 
of our amicable relations with 
Perna. On the subject of China, 
also, but one opinion was likely to 
prevail : he admitted that it was a 
point of great difficulty ; but he 
apprehended that a great majority 
c^ their lordships would think that 
Itwas impossible to avoid the course 
that had been t >ken. The matter 
was still pending and he earnestly 
hoped would be brought to a happy 
conclusion. There were other 
points in the Speech which were 
highly gratifying — such as the 
peaceable adjustment of the dis*^ 

§ute "Which had arisen between 
ipein and Portugal, effected 
through the mediation of her 
Majes^, What was said respect- 

ing Canada was also a subject of 
sincere congratulation. The next 
topic to which his Lordship adverted 
was the effect of the treaty of July 
1840. They all must rejoice 
that the objects of that treaty 
have been accomplished with- 
out involving Europe in war. 
He confessed, when he saw that 
England had entered into a nego- 
tiation, with three powers to the 
exclusion of France, he had enter- 
tained the most serious apprehen« 
sions. He saw that a great nation- 
al calamity might be the result, 
and felt great regret that his noble 
friend, the secretary of state for 
foreign affairs, had entered into 
it ; — he was afraid that his noble 
friend had aban^pned the wise po- 
licy which seemed to have guided 
the course of his administration, 
and which hitherto had secured the 
peace of Europe — since then, how- 
ever, the candid avowal of M. 
Thiers of what was his intention, 
the unexpected weakness of the 
Pacha of Egypt, and, indeed the 
whole course of events, had shown 
him that he was mistaken and her 
Majesty's Ministers in the right. 
He was quite ready and not at all 
disinclin^ to admit his error, and 
was now most happy to find that 
we were again connected with 
France in a great political union. 
Such a bond, and perfectly good 
understanding were essential to the 
peace of Europe, and with that, 
he could hardly see how it could 
be disturbed. The noble earl went 
on to say, that the wealth of this 
country had increased in a greater 
proportion than her debt ; but in 
order to give this state of things 
full effect 5— that the wealth of the 
country might tell as it ought on 
the prosperity of the people ; — that 
it might tend to the lightening of 
taxation, it was necessary that they 

160] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

should take into consideration the 
mode in which our taxes are 
imposed. It was our duty to as- 
certain whether hy some alteration 
and revision they might not make 
them press with less severity on 
the people than at present. Our 
taxation was now upon a principle 
of limitation. Undoubtedly of 
late years, they had to a certain 
degree relieved the country from 
restrictions; but they had a great 
deal more to do, before they can 
be justified in saying, that they 
had done what they could to make 
taxation as little burdensome as 
possible. In arffuing this .pointy 
the noble Earl said^ he did not find 
that '' anybody objects to the gen. 
eral principle; every one admits 
that the best policy is to give com- 
iperce its free course; not to interfere 
with the distribution of capital^ in 
order that a man may employ his 
means in the way b^t calculated 
to promote his interests. Individ- 
uals, however, tell us that these 
general principles are excellent-^ 
incontrovertible; but that England 
k 80 peculiarly circumstanced that 
they cannot be applied to her or 
to them. Now what is the pecu- 
liarity of her situation ? It is 
peculiar in having to pay the pub- 
lic creditor an enormous amount of 
interest in the shape of «n annuity, 
in having to raise by taxation a 
sum equal to pay that annuity. 
After expressing his approval of 
the ministerial propositions with 
respect to timber and sugar — and 
denying that there was any danger 
of retarding a general manumission 
of the negro population by a re* 
duction of the sugar duties— the 
noble earl said that the last ques. 
tion to which he felt himself bound 
to refer, was one specifically recom- 
mended to their attention by her 
Majesty's Speech— the sute of the 

law respecting the intioductioo o^ 
foreign corn. On this sulject the 
grossest misrepresentations had 
been spread abroad both on one 
side and the other. He was him- 
self entirely dependent on agricul- 
ture and could not believe ^atthe 
price of com would fall in conse- 
quence of the proposed change, to 
as to throw thousands of acres out 
of cultivation. Nothing in fail 
opinion could be more lamentaUe 
than this, but he had no hesitation 
in saying that the present Goni- 
laws were no projection to the 
farmer. He did not beUere thafe 
by their abolition the price of com 
would be materially altered. The 
price must always be fixed in pro* 
portion to the expense incuzxed in 
the cultivation, and the trade fxrice 
must be settled generally bj the 
price in this country, li was a 
complete mistake to suppose tlut 
the worst lands would be thiowA 
out of cultivation, for tbey oonU 
only become a barren waste. If 
any were uncultivated it wottid be 
that arable land which could be 
turned into pasture. Taking aU 
these things into oonsideiatkMi» it 
^s quite impossiUe to conestte 
that the price of com woi|U be 
very much diminished. It was 
generally his fate to be in a aiUMV* 
ity ; but he had seen that ndooAf 

fradually decrease^ and £alt coofi* 
ent that the question of fteedosi 
of trade^ and of opening an loboi^ 
course with other countries to the 
greatest possible degree woold even* 
tually be carried. H« mig^t he 
asked why he advocated the xepeal 
of the €om-laws« if- the Ghiaga 
would not cause an alteradoii m 
the price? What he wanted to 
alter was the price on the conti* 
nent, in order that, the mannfisN 
turer there voxgjtkt be less jUe lo, 
Qompete with our nannfijotiuer* 



Opening the trade would be of 
great advantage to every interest 
in the country. It would increase 
its prosperity^ because there was no 
doubt Uiat on the prosperity of the 
manufacturer depended in a great 
degree that of the agriculturist. 
But what had the Corn-laws done ? 
It was not when prices were high 
that persons engaged in agriculture 
wanted any assistance but when 
they were low. Under the present 
systam, however^ when prices were 
low, the Corn-laws depressed them 
Btill more. In conclusion, the 
noble earl said, that he should feel 
deep regret if the House did not 
agree to the Address which he was 
about to propose. With most of her 
Majesty's ministers he had long 
been in the habit of acting. He 
felt confidence in them when they 
came into office^ and sanguine as 
to the policy which they would 
pursue, and he was glad to say that 
he feltevery confidence in them still. 
He must add too, that he was still 
aa deeply attached as ever to the 
party to which he belonged. The 
noble earl then read the address-^ 
which was as usual a mere echo of 
the zoyal Speech. 

The Marquess of Clanricarde at 
considerable length seconded the 
Address. He said that in his opin- 
ion the present Corn- laws most in- 
juriously affected the landed inter- 
est. He admitted tliat if corn 
became cheaper wages would un- 
doubtedly fall ; but if the workman 
for a certain sum of money was 
able to obtain a larger supply of 
food and clothing when com be- 
came cheaper than he could before, 
then his condition would most un- 
doubtedly be bettered, and to all 
intents and purposes would he be 
ft richer man. He objected to the 
principle of the sliding-scale, for 
tha effect of it was to interfere 

with and derange the currency. 
The Earl of Ripon then rose for 
the purpose of moving an amend- 
ment, and after a few preliminary 
observations, said, that many of 
their Lordships would do him the 
honour to recollect that for the 
last few years he had called the 
attention of the House to the state 
of the revenue, and had shown 
that, for the last ^ve years, the ex- 
penditure had exceeded the income, 
and that, for four years of that 
time, the Government had contin- 
ued to fill up that deficiency in a 
most objectionable manner. In 
the case of a single and sudden, 
emergency the course they had 
adopted might not have been so 
objectionable, but their objection- 
able course was continued through 
a series of years, and without the 
sanction of Parliament ; in fact, it 
was not publicly known till last 
year, when it appeared in some 
papers which were laid before the 
House. The course to which he 
objected was the tanfpering with 
the savings' banks, and changing 
them for Exchequer-bills, which 
they added to the funded debt. He 
would admit that they had a right 
to do so to some extent ; but to 
prop up a falling revenue by the 
application of the savings' banks, 
and that without the knowledge of 
Parliament, was, he must contend, 
most unconstitutional. What did 
those savings' bank funds consist of? 
They were the savings of years of 
vast nunibers of poor and indus- 
trious individuals who deposited 
them with the Government for 
greater security. But if Govern- 
ment used them to prop up a fail- 
ing revenue, must it not weaken 
the confidence of the people in 
that security, and deter them from 
vesting them so in future ^ In 
every point of view this application 

152] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

of the savings' banks was most 
objectionable. The other part of 
the financial operations of Govern- 
ment which he considered most 
objectionable was that of reducing 
the balance in the Exchequer to a 
very low sum. This he would 
admit might be resorted to in a case 
of great exigency, but when re- 
sorted to in such a case as that of 
propping up a deficient revenue it 
was an experiment of great danger^ 
for a great and pressing emergency 
might arise when ho balance might 
be found, and then Ministers would 
have to return '*no assets." It 
appeared also that in the last ten 
years there had been an addition 
to the funded debt of the country 
of upwards of 1,000,000/. per 
annum, and no provision whatever 
made for it That had some times 
been the case when there was a large 
surplus, but here for the last four 
years they had been going on adding 
to the deficiency, and by this, added 
to the revenue lost by the hasty 
adoption of* the Post-office Bill, 
they had 2,500,000/. for which 
Parliament had to provide. After 
adverting to, and condemning the 
projected alterations with regard 
to the reduction of duty on Baltic 
Timber, while he admitted that the 
disproportion of duty between fo- 
reign and Canadian timberrequired 
revision, the noble Earl went on to 
say with respect to Sugar, that the 
amount of the reduction of the 
price of sugar which would be ob- 
tained by the measure of the Gov- 
ernment, was calculated at a frac- 
tion of a farthing per pound. Now, 
unless the price of the article should 
be reduced at least ld» per pound, 
it would be folly to expect that the 
consumer would derive anything 
from it. He was not prepared to 
sav that there waa no period at 
wnicb the duty upon foreign sugar 

could be reduced, and he could 
not bind himself to such a proposi- 
tion. But the noble Lord who had 
moved the Address had told their 
Lordships that if he thought the 
foreign slave trade would be pro- 
moted by the alteration of the 
system of the sugar duties^ with 
sJ] his love of free-trade, he for 
one would not consent to it Now^ 
he (Earl Ripon) thought it most 
have that effect, he thought there 
was, at least, great dan^r of its 
having that efiSst^ and this, in his 
mind, was an objection to the 
scheme. He had been engaged in 
the noble work of eztingoishing 
slavery in our colonies. That great 
experiment was now in a coarse of 
trial, and he believed it was work- 
ing remarkably well* and he had 
no doubt that the produce of sogar 
in our free colonies would at no 
distant time be largely increasedj 
and sold at a cheaper rate. The 
measure was one which he had the 
honour of opening in their Loid« 
ships' House when he held the 
seals of Secretary of State, and he 
therefore took a deeper interest hi 
the question. Q'Hear, hear.**) He 
thought the measure of Gioveni- 
ment would have the eflfect he, had 
mentioned, and that at all events it 
was unwise to risk it. 

He now came to the qoesthm of 
the Corn-laws— a sulject so dift* 
cult, that he hardly knew how to 
approach it. The noble morer of 
the Address had told their lorddiips 
that he was an advocate for fiee« 
trade — for free-trade in every 
thing, and, above all, a free-trade 
in com. But the noUe Lord very 
fairly referred to the monstrous 
exaggerations which pi^evailed upon 
this subject. Was the propoeiaon 
of Government for a nee-ti^? 
What it might result in was one 
thing— what it might lead to 



another thing; and if the noble 
Lord was right, it; would corae to 
the abolition of all protecting duties 
on com. Their lordships had^ 
therefore, the explanation of the 
measure. Why were the two 
noble Lords selected to move and 
q^cond the Address ? It was cus- 
tomary for the mover and seconder 
to confer with the ministers pre- 
viously, and he must assume that 
the noble Viscount at the head of 
the Grovemment was aware, when 
he selected the two noble Lords as 
the mover and seconder of the 
Address, that they would argue the 
question on the principles of free- 
trade, and no other* It was not 
unfair or unjust to infer that this 
is the end of the whole scheme. 
The country could not have the 
slightest doubts from what had 
been said in pamphlets and news- 
paper on newspaper^ and from the 
bitter reproaches and calumnies 
cast upon the defenders of the 
Corn-laws^ and from the arguments 
of the Anti-corn Law league^ that 
there was to be an abolition of all 
protection ; and their Lordships 
must therefore make up their 
minds to that, if they adopt this 
Address and give their confidence 
to such a Government. If this 
was a question hondjide whether 
there i^ould be a fixed duty of 8^ . 
or a sliding-scale^— if it was a 
question as to the mode of giving 
protection, which was the most 
convenient and the fairest, — would 
that be a question to agitate the 
country as this has done^ — ^to set 
class against class^ and to agitate 
the worst feelings of our nature ? 
The question could not be settled 
so. He would, if their Lordships 
(deased, say that both parties were 

£ilty of exaffgeration j but the 
Dgerous and violent agitation, 
the agitation which threatened dis* 

orders and the breaking up of all 
social feelings, appeared to him to 
be on the side of those who cla« 
moured for what they called " cheap 
bread," though cheap bread it would 
not bring. When charges against 
those who supported the Corn-laws, 
of being hardhearted monopolists, 
were spread amongst the people,^— 
he did not say by the Govern- 
ment, — he did not accuse them» 
but by persons of influence,—- it 
was a most dangerous agitation. 
It was said^ that if there had been 
a fixed duty, there would have been 
no fluctuation at all; that com« 
merce would have been free and 
easy, and everything would have 
gone on well. This^ however, was 
contrary to experience in respect 
to many other articles. Upon a 
former occasion he had shown their 
Lordships that, taking a series of 
years, in the prices of wool, cotton, 
hemp, silk, and articles without 
end, imported in large quantities 
from every part of the world, there 
had been greater fluctuations than 
in the prices of com^ The noble 
Lord who seconded the Address 
had alluded to the objection made 
to the proposed scheme, on the 
ground of its makiAg this country 
dependent upon foreign supply, 
which was a dangerous thing, and 
he had argued that he saw no 
danger in this ; but it appeared to 
him that it was a ground which 
justified him in supporting the 
Corn-laws, and he could not^ after 
all the consideration he could give 
to the subject, divest himself of 
grave apprehensions, if we were to 
depend on the importation from 
abroad of the main part of our 
supply, and neglect the cultivation 
of- corn in our own country, we 
might find the difficulty aggra^ 
vated every year; for although 
the noble Seconder did not think 

154] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

that the importation of foreign 
com would throw land out of cul- 
tivation^ if he (Earl Ripon) listened 
to the arguments of others who 
wished to aholish the Corn-laws, 
and who called this a landlord's 
question^ they argued that land 
had been brought into cultivation^ 
which would not have been so 
brought but for the Corn-laws. 
Why, if 80^ according to their argu- 
ment^ the abolition of the Corn-laws 
must have the effect of throwing 
that land again out of cultivation. 
He (Earl Ripon) did not say that 
land had been so brought into cul- 
tivation; he thought there were 
other causes. But if we habitually 
depended upon foreign countries 
for com, we incurred risk — ^and 
risk in such a matter was a great 
thing ; we ought to see the effect 
of the measure before we placed 
such interests in jeopardy by so 
tremendous a change. It was not 
clear to him, if they admitted 
foreign com, and discouraged the 
growth of our own, how far they 
would find foreign countries al- 
ways to have com to send us. In 
Dr. Bowring's report, a curious 
drcumstanoe was mentioned. He 
was arguing against the Corn-laws 
as preventing the extension of com- 
merce; and he says that the Ger- 
man League had a population of 
22,000,000, and the total quantity 
of com grown in the League for 
these 22,000,000 of people did not 
exceed 13 ,000,000 quarters, wheat, 
barley, oats, and everything, of 
which the people consumed 13« 
14ths: if so, the whole quantity 
they were capable of exporting 
would not equal 1,000,000 of 
quarters per annum. And yet the 
Government assumed that we must 
import no less than -3,000,000 
quarters of wheat, and 3>000,000 
quarters of other com every year. 

which exceeded the whole quantity 
ever imported in any one year. In 
no one year did the imports of com 
ever amount to 2,500,000 quar- 
ters, and yet there must hie an 
importation of 3,000,000 quarters 
of wheat per annum. Why did 
the Government set this up as a 
measure of finance? The Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer had as- 
sumed, that the customs on com 
produced a given sum per annum, 
and he built his calculations on 
the produce of the customs for the 
last two or three years; in this 
period about 1,000,000/. a*year 
had been received on com. The 
Government said they expected lo 
raise by their project 400,000/. 
But if they did not get 1,600,000/. 
a-year, the whole calculation of 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
was wrong ; and the result of the 
estimate, which was founded upon 
the last two years giving 1, 1 00,000/L, 
was, that 3,000,000 quarters of 
wheat must be annually imported 
at the 85. duty, to give the required 
revenue, and another 3,000,000 al 
the m^um duty; in fact, there 
must be a perpetual impcnrtation of 
wheat, whether it was wantedor 
not, before the expectations of the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer could 
be realized. But in the event of 
the project of the Government 
being carried into effect, no man 
could entertain any reasonable 
doubt that a very large portion of 
the corn land in this country would 
be thrown out of cultivation~-an 
evil which, if it once commenced, 
no one could say where it would 
stop, or what would be its dis- 
astrous consequences. One of his 
noble friends had laugjbed at thei 
idea of foreign powers interposiiic 
laws to prevent the importation of 
com into this oountiy. It was 
tme that there was alaw in Bussiii 



which permitted the importation 
of foreign com. But why ? Be- 
cause the supply for the last few 
years had been below the demand. 
If, howerer, the Emperor of Russia 
could permit the importation of 
foreign com for two or three 
years, it would seem that, without 
his permission, it could not be im- 
ported, so that there was not a free- 
trade in com in Russia after all, 
for the Emperor could put an end 
to it wh^iever he thought proper. 
He could not help thinung, then, 
that it would be imprudent to rely 
upon any foreign supply of com, 
for auch a course must inevitably 
lead to the risk of exposing this 
country to want and even to 
famine. There was only one other 
part of the case to which he wished 
to advert, that was the mercantile 
view of the question. It was said, 
^* If you establish free-trade in 
oom, you will have such a great 
and increased exportation of manu« 
fiKtures, that our trade will flourish 
lo an enormous extent, and the 
landholder will profit in the gene- 
ral prosperity that the increased 
trade will produce." No doubt 
that, if the prosperity were general, 
the Lindhdders would profit by it ; 
but he thought there were grave 
reasons for doubting whether, if 
they were to alter their Com -laws, 
they would acquire that extensive 
trade from those particular coun- 
tries whence it was expected. Just 
see how the question became nar- 
rowed when they looked at those 
countries. The trade could not 
home from the greater part of 
Europe^ because the greater part 
of ^rope had protective Cora- 
hiws. Holland, Sweden, Portu- 
nly Spain, Naples, Sicily, the 
Fapid dominions, and even Ba- 
varian in the interior of Germany^ 
bad Cocn*law8 for dieir own pio«. 

tection. How then could any one 
possibly argue that those countries 
would be induced to take our ma« 
nufactures by a reduction of the 
duty on their com ? 

The noble Earl concluded a long 
and able speech by proposing that 
an Address be presented to her 
Majesty, " Humbly to represent to 
her Majesty, that we observe with 
great concern that the public ex- 
penditure has of late, in each of 
several successive years, exceeded 
the annual income, and that we 
are convinced of the necessity of 
adopting measures for the purpose 
of remedying so great an e^■il. To 
assure her Majesty that we are 
deeply sensible of the importance 
of those considerations, to whidb 
her Majesty has been graciously 
pleased to direct our attention, in 
reference to the commerce and 
revenue of the country, and to the 
laws which regulate the trade in 
com. That in deciding the course 
which it may be advisable to pur* 
sue with reference to such matters, 
it will be our earnest desire to con- 
sult the interest, and promote the 
welfare of all classes of her Ma« 
jesty's subjects. That we feel it, 
however, to be our duty humbly 
to submit to her Majesty, that it is 
essential to the satisfactory results 
of our deliberations upon these and 
other matters of puUic concern, 
that her Majesty's Government 
should possess the confidence of 
this House and of the country; 
and respectfully to represent to her 
Majesty, that that confidence is 
not reposed in the present advisers 
of her Majesty, To assure her 
Majesty, that in the gracious ex- 
pression of her Majesty's deep sym- 
pathy with those of her subjects 
who are now suffering from dis* 
tress and want of employment, we 
recognise an additicmal proof .of 

166] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

her Majesty's tender regard for the 
welfare of her subjects, and that 
we cordially join in the prayer of 
her Majesty, that all our delibera- 
tions may be guided by wisdom, 
and may conduce to the happiness 
of her people." 

Earl Fitzwilliam followed, and 
at considerable length condemned 
the present system of Corn-laws, 
and accused the Opposition of con- 
cealing their intentions with re- 
gard to the measures which they 
would propose for the relief of the 
country when they succeeded to 

Lord Lyttleton said, that he 
voted for the Address, in order to 
signify assent, as &r as imperfect 
knowledge would justify him in 
forming an opinion, to those mea- 
sures of commercial policy which 
are most pointedly dluded to in 
that Address; with the exception 
of that on the sugar duties, and 
that not on commercial grounds ; 
and also to that general system of 
policy concerning trade which 
would seem to be indicated by 
those measures, and which he sup- 
posed they might now take for 
granted that her Majesty's minis- 
ters, had they the opportunity, 
would proceed to act on. But in- 
asmuch as, considering the nature 
of this occasion, and of the Amend- 
ment proposed by the noble Earl, 
a vote given in favour of the Ad- 
dress might very fairly and reason- 
ably, unless otherwise explained, 
be construed into one of general 
confidence in the Government ; he 
hoped to be excused if he gave 
their Lordships some of the reasons 
why he could not allow his vote 
to be so considered, both with re- 
gard to some circumstances con- 
nected with the introduction of 
those measures, and to some other 
j^oiats not immediately allied with 

them. It was not that he could 
see much force in some of the ob- 
jections commonly taken to the 
conduct of the Government. But 
he could not but accept one objec- 
tion very commonly made— for he 
could not pretend to novelty in 
producing it — ^namely, that at the 
time when Ministers introduced 
those measures they had no right, 
according to the constitution of 
this country, to stand before the 
then existing Parliament as ad- 
visers of the Crown at all $ and 
especially that it was almost an 
abisurdity and a contradiction for 
them to stand before that Parlia- 
ment under those drcumstances^ 
and still call themselves a Whig 

It might perhaps be supposed, 
that what had had the most wdgfat 
with him, had been the conduct of 
the Ministry with respect to eode* 
siastical legislation. He (Lord 
Lyttleton) had certainly oonsidemi 
that they were not deserving of 
entire confidence for their mock of 
dealing with an institution whidi 
he believed they did not ri^dy 
appreciate, fiut considered rela- 
tively to any Government that 
might be likely to succeed them, 
he had not been in the habit of 
thinking it certain that their le* 
moval would benefit the church. 
"With but little dependence in the 
existing Government on these sob* 
jects, he had not much more in 
those who might be supposed to be 
their successors. Moreover, he did 
not consider it material what ad- 
ministration might or might nek 
be in power ; believing that if the 
church herself, by which he meant 
if they, every one of them, did 
their duty as churchmen, and not 
only as citizens, she wotdd vindi<> 
cate her position in the country^ 
and every Ministry would find the 



best thing it could do for itis own 
purpose, would be to let the church 
alone. The noble Lord then al- 
luded to the conduct of Govern- 
ment with regard to the|Appropria- 
tion clause, and said that they had 
abandoned then one principle, and 
that from that moment he had not 
been able to avoid the conviction, 
that they stood in office on ground 
not their own, and in virtue of an 
unfulfilled covenant. No agree- 
ment in general policy or private 
feelings should ever induce him to 
adhere fully to a Government 
whoae public engagements were 
not fulfilled, and whose political 
integrity was gone. 

\^8count Melbourne then rose 
and said, ''The nature of this 
motion and the circumstances un- 
der which it has been made-^not- 
withstanding its great importance, 
the arguments on which it has been 
founded, and the fair, candid, clear, 
and distinct spirit in which it has 
been submitted — do not make it 
necessary for me to trouble your 
Lordships with many observations. 
I listened to my noble friend who 
moved the amendment with great 
deference for his abilities, with 
great deference for his information, 
and with great respect for his can- 
dour, and I must say, that seeing 
the superstructure he was about to 
raise, a more meagre, slender, or 
fragile foundation it would be im- 
possible to have laid down. The 
noble Lord made a sort of omnium 
gatherum speech ; impressed every 
thing into hi5 service, as well what 
we had done last year as during 
the present ; and on such a collec- 
tion of heterogeneous materials he 
founds a motion of this magnitude, 
•—a motion so important m its con- 
sequences, and one, allow me to 
say, perfectly new to this House. 
My Lords it came like a thunder- 

clap upon me. I own I was ignor« 
ant that their existed in this House 
the spirit on which that motion 
seems to proceed. We all know 
that there were a great many fac- 
tious motions in the late House of 
Commons, and continual motions 
of want of confidence, but there 
was not the least intimation that 
your Lordships sympathised with 
or countenanced any such proceed- 
ing. Your Lordships were repos- 
ing a tranquil confidence in the 
present Government, when sud- 
denly, on the grounds stated by 
the noble Lord, unexpectedly, and 
contrary to all precedent, believing 
in fact, the manner in which you 
have heretofore conducted your- 
selves, the noble Lord has come 
forward with this distinct motion 
of a want of confidence in her 
Majesty's Ministers.'' The noble 
Viscount then defended himself 
and colleagues from the charge of 
omission of various topics in the 
royal Speech, and then proceeded 
to the measures proposed in it for 
the relief of commercial depres- 
sion. '' On the Sugar-duties too, 
the noble Lord only objects to one 
or other trivial part of the mea- 
sures which have been brought 
forward; but his grand objection 
to the proposed change is, that it 
will encourage the slave-trade. I 
must freely say, that bavins as 
great a hatred to the slave-trade as 
any man in the country, and being 
anxious to take measures to dimin- 
ish, and if possible to eradicate, 
that traffic, I do not believe it is by 
means of commercial hostility, by 
cutting off the intercourse of slave- 
employing countries, and refusing 
the produce of slave-growing states, 
that that object can be efiected. 
My noble friend argues, that it is 
but justice to our Indian Colonies 
that you should not interfere with 

168] ANNUAL REGISTBB, 1841. 

the trade of sugar at^ the present 
moment, as supfuied by slave states. 
But my noble Friend must recol- 
lect that if he makes that admis- 
sion now> he shuts himself out 
from ever adopting those measures 
which at some future day, he thinks 
might be right and proper, because 
his present objection will, by the 
lapse of time, grow stronger and 
stronger. That Indian interest to 
which he alludes will be on the in- 
crease, in point of importance ; it 
will be more difficult to meddle 
with it ; it will be stronger in it- 
self; and will, consequently, give 
greater weight to any objections it 
may urge against tampering with 
the trade; it will, in fact, be in a 
position to put an end to all hopes 
of ever adopting such a measure as 
that contemplated by the Govem*^ 
ment and by^the noble Lord. My 
noble friend then comes to th^t 
great question, which undoubtedly 
interests your Lordships most deep- 
\y, and that is the question of the 
trade in Com. Notwithstanding 
nil the statements which my noble 
friend made, notwithstanding all 
the deductions he drew from the 
prices of other articles, I cannot 
but feel certain that the adoption 
of a fixed duty would tend to a 
steadiness of price. {'*Hear, hear") 
To me it is perfectly evident that 
it nec&ssarily must have that effect 
I know there must be fluctuations 
in. this article. I know from the 
nature of trade in com there will 
be great variations in price j but 
that a fixed duty would tend to 
produce a greater steadiness of 
price, more even, more regular, it 
is impossible for me to doubt. But 
I can fairly say that the great ar- 
gument that has always weighed 
with me on this subject is one 
which I will state to your Lord- 
ships as shortly and briefly as I 

can. I certainly have been on for- 
mer occasions for putting off agita- 
tion and discussion on this ques- 
tion, as I knew that whenever it 
came on it must be attended by 
those circumstances whidi my 
noble friend has described; but I 
always knew that that discussion 
must come. Q^Hear, hear/') I 
always knew that it was not to he 
avoided, and that it was entirely 
a question of time. If your Lord- 
ships will grant me your attention 
1 will state very shortly what my 
opinions and feelings on this subject 
are. This, my Lords, is a law 
which is capable of being tepfe- 
sented, and of being charged as 
having been introduoed^ and being 
supported, for the benefit of thope 
who introduced and supported it 
It is a system of law wnich is the 
work of two houses of the Legis- 
lature, oneof which is entirdy conv- 
posed of landholders, and the otber 
almost entirely. {** Hear, hear.") 
Now, I say, that is not a safe state 
of things. {Hear.) I am not ac- 
customed to speak in the lanffoage 
of dictation, but upcm this siuiject, 
my Lords, 

<' Credite me vobis folium rteU 
tare Sibyllse.'* 

I say it is not safe for the goyem* 
ing powers of the country to stand 
in a situation in which they are 
liable to imputations of so popular, 
so plausible, and so specious a na- 
ture, and I do assure your Lord- 
ships that you .will to be 
absolutely necessary to place theie 
laws at some time or otner upon, a 
more reasonable and more satisfac- 
tory foundation. {"Hear,**^ I do 
not charge you, my Lords, with that 
charge which is generally brought 
against you 5 I do not charge your 
Lordships with interested teeungs 
or motives. No man more strong^ 



condemns the language which is 
generally made use of; no man 
more disapproves the topics and ar- 
guments perpetually introduced in 
reference to this subject. I do not 
think these laws are condemned 
by the Christian religion ; I do not 
think they are contrary to morality ; 
I do not think they are laws fit 
only to be eradicated; nor do I think 
. they are the work of those who 
have had nothing else in view, but 
their own interest and their own 
objects. My Lords^ if you are free 
from undue self-interest, and I per- 
fectly agree with what the noble 
Lord has said, that a man must 
have some regard to his own in- 
t««8t — it would be wrong if he 
had not — but feeling sure that 
these laws are not caused by any 
motives of a meftn, base, or sordid 
kind, I should entreat your Lord- 
ships to free yourselves from the 
imputation, from the possibility of 
such a charse being made against 
jou. Nothmg is so foolish as to 
have the discredit of that which 
you don't do. (" Hear*' and a 
laugh) If you are really free from 
the imputation yourselves, as I 
have no doubt you are, I earnestly 
entreat your Lordships to consider 
whether it would not be wise to 
attempt at least to place those laws 
on a more satisfactory and more 
reasonable foundation. It is very 
well to say, " Why, your arguments 
go to a total abolition — that is what 
you really mean." But that is not 
so; we have known many mea- 
sures that have been founded on 
.arguments which certainly went 
much further than the measures 
themselves, yet the measures have 
afterwards been acquiesced in, and 
found sufficiently satisfactory. De- 
pend upon it, if yon do that which 
is generally looked for, it will pro- 
duce the satisfaction that naturally 

results from it. It is on these 
grounds that I am unquestbnably 
ibr an alteration of the duties on 
corn, and I cannot help concluding, 
without going further into the sub- 
ject, that a fixed duty is the right 
principle, that it will be safe, and 
will be tenable, and will answer 
all the ends of giving a satisfactory 
protection, and at the same time 
diminishing much of the discontent 
and suspicion which at present gen- 
erally prevails. My noble friend, 
seemed to rake together a great 
number of matters of small account 
in the course of the speech he made 
to you. With regard to the say- 
ings'-banks, he said we did what 
was legal, but not constitutional, 
and that we had kept too small bal- 
ances in the Exchequer. Now, if 
no discontent has been felt on the 
part of the managers of those in- 
stitutions — ^no distrust on the^ part 
of the proprietors, and if no incon- 
venience hasr^nilted from the bal- 
ances in the Exchequer, I think 
these are matters which can hardly 
form the ground and foundation 
for such a motion as this. Of 
course, the meaning of the motion, 
in plain English, is just this— ** We 
have now a majority in the House 
of Commons." . (Laughter,) I 
should suppose, if we are to go 
from speculations on the hustings, 
there is such a majority ; but, at 
the same time, members are sent 
here *^ ad consuUandum de rebus 
arduis regnu* We must not look 
merely to statements on the hus- 
tings, but to the conduct that is 
pursued where these matters aie 
discussed in a more gentlemanlike 
manner. (4 laugh.) I have> -how- 
ever derived some d^ee of conso- 
lation and hope from the arguments 
by which the views of my oppoi- 
nents weresupported at the hustings, 
and I feel quite ^rtaiA t^at sudi 

160] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

is their sense of honour^ candour^ 
and justice, that they cannot per- 
severe in the opinions they held 
there upon such arguments." 

The nohle Viscount then de- 
fended himself and colleagues from 
the charge of unprincipled inconsist- 
ency on the question of the Appro- 
priation clauses^ and said in conclu- 
sion, that he could only repeat, that 
considering the nature and object 
of this motion^ as far as he could 
understand them^ he looked on it 
as quite unprecedented, and that 
there certainly never was a motion 
supported on more weak grounds^ 
or by more insufficient arguments. 

The Duke of Wellington then 
spoke to the following effect: he 
was happy to find* that the noble 
Viscount repudiated those charges 
altogether which had been made 
by his supporters against their 
Lordships; and those parts of 
the noble Viscount's speech must, 
therefore, be most satisfactory to 
them. But it appeared to him 
that the noble Viscount had treated 
the speech of his noble Friend 
(the £arl of Ripon) in an unde- 
served manner. His noble Friend 
had said nothing in that speech 
that was not penectly within the 
rules of Parliament — did nothing 
that was not entirely correct. It 
was but natural that when he (the 
Earl of Ripon) was persuaded to 
move an amendment to those parts 
of the Address that he object^ to, 
he should state to their Lordships 
the grounds on which he based his 
opposition to them ; and yet it was 
for this the noble Lord had at- 
tacked him. To those reasons, 
however^ the noble Viscount did 
not reply or refer, though that 
would have been the more obvious 
course for him to follow. Those 
grounds, as stated by his noble 
Frieiid, were neglect and mis- 

management of the financet of diis 
country by her Maje8t3r'8 Govern- 
ment, the future consequence of 
which, as truly stated, it was im- 
possible to foreseoi and the impro- 
per, impolitic, and unconstitutional 
means which they had taken to 
recover themselves. Those things 
he had proved by reference to the 
actual state of the finances, when 
it had been found necessary to 
review them in the last Parlia^ 
ment ; and he had showed, that in 
point of fact, after a period of 
about five years, a debt had not 
alone been accumulated of ^ye 
millions, but there had also been 
a vast deficiency in the public 
revenue. The next all^ation 
against them, was for not makinff 
financial provision of ways and 
means for the expense and charge 
incurred by the country by the 
exertions made to put and end to 
the danger which had menaced it. 
His noble Friend had stated, that 
though a large amount of army 
and ordnance had been kept on 
foot since 1831, no provision had 
been made for the additional ex- 
penditure in the usual way of an 
application to Parliament, bat 
that irregular and unconstitutional 
modes were adopted by the Go- 
vernment for finding means of 
defraying those expenses. In this 
his noble Friend had spoken but 
the truth. In one case the whole 
charge of a war had been thrown 
on the East India G)mpany, and 
then converted into a debt on this 
country ; in another the funds of 
the savings' banks had been tam- 
pered with; and the Exchequer 
Bills had been funded ; in short, 
several most singular modes had 
been adopted. What had then 
happened ? Besides those ex- 
penses; and the failure of the 
Government to make due provi- 



sion of the ways and means to 
defray the charges incurred hy 
their naval and military operations; 
besides those» her Majesty's Minis- 
ten had thought proper to repeal 
a large amount of taxes^ hy which 
tliey had reduced the revenue of 
the country to such a degree as 
materially and inevitahly left a 
most serious deficiency, which had 
amounted to the sum of two and 
a half millions^ besides the large 
^bt incurred. This being the 
case^ he thought that all those 
grievances, so clearly stated by his 
noUe Friend, (and it would only 
impair their effect for him to re- 
state them,) sufficiently justified 
him in calling on that House to 
vote against the Address on that 

The noble Duke then animad- 
verted upon, and condemned the 
introduction of her Majesty's name 
into the royal Speech, in such a 
way as to give the country to 
believe that those who were op- 
posed to the proposed commercial 
alterations were, therefore, op- 
posed to her Majesty. He passed 
a warm eulogium upon the general 
conduct of Viscount Melbourne, in 
his relation to the Crown, and said 
that he was willing to admit, that 
the nobleViscount had rendered the 
greatest possible service to her Ma- 
jesty, in making her acquainted w i th 
the mode and policy of the Govern- 
ment of this country — initiating 
ber inta the laws and spirit of the 
constitution, independently of the 
performance of his duty as the 
servant of her Majesty's crown-— 
teaching her, in short, to preside 
over the destinies of this great 

What he (the Duke of Welling- 
ton) chiefly complained of was, 
that before the noble Viscount put 
that Speech into her Majesty's 

Vol. LXXXIil. 

mouth, he had not given them full 
and fair information to guide them 
as to what they ought to do. He 
believed that such conduct was 
sufficient to induce them to say 
that the noble Lords opposite did 
not deserve their confidence. Here 
he should finish what he had had 
to say, but he wished to make a 
few remarks respecting the Budget, 
about which so much had been 
said, and on which thev would 
have to give an opinion. As re- 
garded the Timber duties, before 
they attempted to renew the pro- 
positions made some years ago by 
the noble Earl opposite, they 
ought to recollect the position of 
our American possessions at the 
present moment. They ought to 
consider whether, since that pro- 
posal was made, vast quantities of 
land had been sold covered with 
timber. He wished then to sub- 
mit whether the purchasers of that 
land would not be entitled to some 
compensation for the loss they 
must sustain by the proposed altera- 
tions } With respect to the change 
in the Sugar-duties, he wished to 
enquire whether when the West- 
Indian planters were deprived of 
the labour of slaves — (the appren- 
ticeship of negroes had ceased 
sooner than was expected), if they 
were told that in a year or two 
afterwards they would be deprived 
of all the benefits arising from 
the fair protection of their sugar ; 
and desired further to enquire if 
they would not be entitled to some 
compensation for this loss ? The 
noble Viscount had attempted to 
answer the arguments of his noble 
Friend (the Earl of Ripon) as to 
the encouragement of East- Indian 
industry. Now, he asked whe- 
ther, in consequence of measures 
lately introduced, many persons 
were not led to believe that it was 

162] ANNUAL R E G I S T E R, 1841. 

the object of Parliament and of the 
Government to encourage the in- 
troduction of sugar from India. 
A quantity of capital must have 
been invested in procuring that 
sugar, and in bringing it to Eng- 
land. And the persons who had 
so laid out their money, had, of 
course done so on the faith of 
Government, and could not they 
likewise claim some compensation ? 
That proposition would, therefore, 
require the greatest caution and 
consideration. fiut there was 
another point which had been 
almost entirely left out of sight, 
namely, those points bearing on 
our relations with the govern* 
mcut of Brazil. They had al- 
luded to questions arising out of 
the commercial treaty ; but would 
none be raised about the treaties 
for the suppression of the slave- 
trade, which had never been car- 
into execution.^ Was it proper 
to throw away all means of suc- 
cessful negotiation, instead of re. 
taining in their hands something 
which would ensure proper atten- 
tion to other matters that ought 
to be considered in our connection 
with Brazil? This great point 
the Government appeared entirely 
to have forgotten. 

With respect to the Corn-law 
question, his (the Duke of Wel- 
lington's) opinions were alreadv 
well-known ; he should not then 
argue the propriety of those laws, 
but should be ready to discuss them 
when a discussion was brought 
forward by a Government having 
the confidence of her Majesty's 
Parliament. But he earnestly 
recommended their lordships, for 
the sake of the people of this 
country— for the sake of the hum- 
blest orders of the people — not to 
lend themselves to the destruction 
of our native cultivation. Its en^ 

couragement was of the utmost and 
deepest importance to all daises. 
He had passed his life in foreign 
countries, in different re^ons cf the 
earth, and he had been in only one 
country in which the poor man, if 
sober, prudent and industrious, was 
quite certain of acquiring a com- 
petence. That country was this. 
They had instances every day; 
they had seen only within the pre- 
ceding week, proofs that persons 
in the lowest ranks could adquirer 
not only competence but immense 
riches. He had never heard of 
such a thing in any other country. 
He earnestly begged of them not 
to lose dght of that &ct and sbt; 
to consent to any measure in^bieh 
would injure the cultivation of 
their own soil. He had seen in. 
other lands, the misery consequent 
on the destruction ci cultivatioUf 
and never was there miseiy equal 
to it; and he> therefore, once 
more conjured their Lordships not 
to consent to any measure tending 
to injure the home cultivatioii of 
the country. 

Viscount Melbourne said, in ex* 
planation, that with respect to the 
Speech which her Majes^ was 
advised to make at the dose of 
last session, it was framed upon. 
the model of the Speech of hisuM 
Majesty George the 3rd., advised 
by Mr. Pitt on the dissolution of 
Parliament in 1784. Partly of 
course, were omitted which did 
not apply to the circumstances of. 
the present case ; and he thought. 
that it was milder in fotm than 
the Speech of George he 8rd. 
However that might be, the speedi 
was that of the Ministers, awl did. 
not in any way commit the sove-, 
reign to its sentiments. ' Un- 
doubtedly there had been much 
discussion on the sutgect of the 
measure they proposed, and all. 



that they intended to state was^ 
that it was adopted by her Ma- 
jesty's Ministers as most likely to 
prove of advantage to the com- 
merce of the country. Some allu- 
sion had necessarily been made to 
this proposition^ but it was not 
done m a way that was open to 
the animadversions of the noble 
Duke, who had also said that his 
(Viscount Melbourne's) opinions 
on that subject had been changed 
in consequence of liis having read 
a certain report of a Committee of 
the other House of Parliament. 
Nothing could make him feel 
more iimignant than such a charge. 
The noUe Duke had also said that 
he had changed his opinion on the. 
subject of the Com-]aws. He had 
done so. Undoubtedly, the new 
Com^law was a very great error, 
yet all the greatest authorities 
were in favour of that measure at 
the time. This was, perhaps, the 
measure on which there had been 
a greater— -he should say progress, 
rather than change, of opinion—' 
than on any other. The noble 
Duke bad referred to some obser- 
vations which he had made use of 
in reference to this subject, but 
the measure, the advocacy of 
which he had said was a sign of 
insanity, was the total repeal of the 
C!orn-laws. In all the speeches 
which he had made on the subject, 
he had opposed the projected altera- 
tions on temporary grounds only, 
owing to the circumstances of the 
time heing such as to render it un- 
advisable to make any variations of 
the kind. With regard to the 
changes now proposed, he knew 
that violence and animosity were 
great evils, but great measures 
could not be carried without them, 
and therefore if the circumstances 
were considered otherwise favour- 
able to a great and awful change. 

he did not think that they should be 
deterred by apprehensions of tempo- 
rary animosity from attempting it. 

The Duke of Wellington then 
observed, that up to the moment 
when the noble Viscount had de- 
clared that any man must be mad 
who would propose a repeal of the 
Corn-laws, he had given no hint 
that he thought any part of them 
might be touched. With regard 
to the contents of the Speech from 
the Throne, it was at all times de- 
sirable that the Sovereign should 
not be pledged. 

The Duke of Richmond fol- 
lowed in a short speech, in which 
he called upon the House to recol- 
lect the debt of gratitude due to 
the farmers of England, many 
of whom had long leases of 
their farms, and therefore could 
not quit them even if they could 
find any other profession to fol- 
low. '^ I have no hesitation in 
saying," continued the noble Duke, 
*' that if unfortunately a Bill of 
this sort pass through Parliament, 
I will be the man to move that 
every tenant, if he think fit, may 
have the power to throw up his 
lease." He felt most strongly 
upon this question. It had been 
said that night, that the men who 
were to succeed the present Govern- 
ment in office, would themselves 
turn round upon the landed inter- 
est, and refuse it protection. If 
they did, he knew what course the 
landed inteiest would take. They 
would turn out the new Govern- 
ment, as they had turned out the 
present one. If the new Minis- 
ters came forward with an 8*. 
duty, the same men who brought 
them into power would thrust 
them out of it. But he did not 
believe they would pursue so mad 
a course — they knew too well the 
justice due to the cultivators of 

[M 2J 

164] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

the soil J and were also well aware 
that the home market was of great 
importance to the manufacturing 
interest, and that commerce and 
manufacture could not flourish if 
the agricultural interest were de. 

The Marquess of Lansdowne 
said^ that although he did not feel 
so competent as his nohle friend 
(Earl Spencer) to discuss points 
peculiarly agricultural^ yet with 
reference to a general view of the 
subject, he could not but complain, 
aftflf the explanation afforded by 
VSfcount Melbourne^ that the noble 
I^hke should persevere in the taunt 
that, according to his own con- 
fession, he must be mad, because 
he had once stated that any man 
who proposed a repeal of the Corn- 
laws, in toio, would be so. No 
such proposal had been made by 
the present Government ; and if it 
were meant that any man must be 
road who contemplated some change 
in the existing Corn-laws, he (the 
Marquess of Lansdowne) appre- 
hended that all who had taken 
part in the discussion already, or 
who would do so hereafter, must 
be looked upon as insane. They 
all, more or less, contemplated 
some change or other. He did not 
believe that the noble Duke was 
entirely exempt from this species 
of lunacy ; and though he might 
not yet be so far gone as others, 
and possibly might be the last mad 
person of the day, still mad he 
would go in the end, and allow of 
a change when it could not be 

The Duke of Richmond was 
sorry, by interposing, to spoil the 
joke of the noble Marquess, but 
denied ever having said that his 
noble friend (Viscount Melbourne) 
had proposed a total repeal of the 

The Marquess of Lansdowne 
was glad to infer that the noble 
Diike did not consider it perfect 
lunacy to recommend some change 
in the Com.laws. Before he pro- 
ceeded further, he most willingly 
complied with the request of the 
noble Duke, that he would make 
some distinct declaration respecting 
the security of the money from 
those most valuable institutions 
with which this country was ever 
blessed — the Savings' Banks* De- 
positors might rest satisfied that 
their money was perfectly safe, and 
that the Government and the Par- 
liament, in the face of the oountrj, 
pledged the revenues of the State 
for the security of the roost sacred 
of the public funds. All that had 
been done was to convert one 
species of security into another; 
and whatever suspicion might be 
indulged in by noble Lords for the 
purposes of debate, he did not be- 
lieve that such a suspicion had ever 
entered the minds of that most 
distrustful class of persons-— the 
saving portion of the communitj. 

The noble Marquess proceeded 
to say that he had listened* with 
the greatest pleasure to a speech 
of the Duke of Wellington's, that 
did him (the Duke) the higlhest 
honour ; and no part more so than 
what he had said respecting ser- 
vices of a peculiar nature rendered 
by the present head of the Grovem- 
roent to the young Sovereign of 
this country ; and he was rejoiced 
that the recognition of those aer. 
vices went forth to the world 
stamped with the high authority 
of the noble Duke, who had, how- 
ever, accompanied that declaration 
by some censure of the terms* em- 
ployed in two royal Speeches, the 
one delivered on dissolving the last 
Parliament, and the other this day 
read from the Woolsack. 



He denied that Ministers had 
committed her Majesty to any- 
thing hut to the opinion '* that the 
trade and industry of the country 
were of paramount importance," 
and to the declaration that *' she 
felt the greatest anxiety to pro> 
vide for the exigencies of the pub- 
lic service in a manner least bur- 
densome to the community/' The 
nohle Duke had^ moreover, ex- 
pressed some dissatisfaction that 
measures^ on which no definite 
opinion was pronounced from the 
Throne^ had not been preceded by 
an inquiry, by which due informa- 
tion might have heen conveyed to 
Parliament and to the country. ">.' 

The nohle Duke and other 
Peers had adverted to a report of 
a committee, not proposed by any 
member of the Government, but 
by an individual Member of Par- 
li^ent. Their Lordships would, 
however, recollect that constantly 
within the last twenty or five-and- 
twenty years, all these subjects 
bad been over and over again in- 
vestigated by Committees. Some, 
times these inquiries were made 
at the instance of discontented 
manufacturers, sometimes by dis- 
satisfied agriculturists ; and on no 
fewer than five separate occasions, 
reports had been presented to one 
or other House of Parliament. 
To none of these Committees had 
the noble Duke adverted, yet some 
of them came exactly within the 
category lai'l down by him of 
having been composed of the most 
eminent statesmen. In 1821 and 
1822, a Committee of a most 
important nature, connected with 
these questions, had been ap- 
pointed; composed of Sir Robert 
red. Lord Althorp, Mr. William 
Lamb, (Viscount Melbourne), Mr. 
Husldsson^ and Mr. Robinson. 
What did the House imagine this 

combination of illustrious states- 
men of different parties agreed in 
recommending } They recom- 
mended a fixed duty as the best 
protection that could be given to 
agriculture. Yet this Mr. Robin- 
son was the same individual who 
had been afterwards created Vis- 
count Goderich and Earl of 

The present Ministers were, 
therefore, only humble followers 
of that great statesman, Mr. Robin- 
son, who now wished to deny his 
own offspring, and to cast it, like 
a foundling, at the door of any- 
body who was charitable enough 
to give it shelter. 

The Report stated that '* such a 
system is fit to be kept in view 
rather as the ultimate tendency of 
the law than us practicable, with- 
in a very short period/' and this 
was. delivered in the Session of 
1821-2, and from that date until 
1841-2, that is twenty years, the 
noble Earl, instead of tending to- 
wards such a system, had, it seemed, 
been gradually getting further and 
further from it. The result would 
be, that Ministers were never 
likely to have the benefit of the 
aid of the noble Earl in this un- 
dertaking; the longer he lived, 
the less likely he was to approach 
the fixed duty he had recom- 
mended in 1821-2. The progress 
of affairs during a long peace — the 
advance of foreign manufactures—^ 
the proved uncertainty of supply 
— had no effect upon the mind of 
the Earl of Ripon, though they 
might have operated forcibly on 
that of Mr. Robinson. 

In the Report to which he (the 
Marquess of Lansdowne) referred. 
Ministers had placed some confi- 
dence: it was their harbour of 
refuge in the midst of the storni 
of opposition ; and backed by the 

166] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

opinion of Mr. Robinson and his 
colleagues of the Committee, they 
had sought, by a fixed duty, to 
obtain a sure supply at a certain 
price, which, to the farmer, manu- 
fecturer, and labourer, was the 
great desideratum. 

This system, the perfection of a 
law upon the subject, they had 
sought to establish, warranted by 
.experiments already made upon 
the same principle in other spheres 
of commerce. They had been en- 
couraged, also, in this course of 
policy, by perceiving that the same 
-principle in the case of wool had 
entirely succeeded. 

When it was proposed to re- 
move the restrictions on wool, the 
same cry was raised, and the same 
prophecies indulged ; — the poor 
lands would be thrown out of cul- 
tivation, the farmers would be 
ruined and the labourers starved ; 
but, nevertheless, aided by a great 
portion oi the Opposition of that 
day, lie himself having taken part 
with the Government, the restric- 
tions were removed, and the result 
had be^n a great increase in the 
importation of foreign wool, con- 
jointly with an advance in the 
price of our own wool. 

Thus both landlords and tenants 
were benefitted by a change which 
it was asserted would be their 
ruin ; and not an agriculturist had 
been found to suggest a return to 
the former system. 

His noble friend had been 
taunted with making a distinction 
between the principles of fixed 
duty and total repeal. He (the 
Marquess of Lansdowne) was a 
friend of fVee-trade ; but he knew 
that perfect freedom was not con- 
sistent With the maintenance of 
'the revenue* All that could be 
done was to make as near an ap- 
j»roafih to perfectly free-trade as 

was consistent with the interests 
of the revenue; and in the in- 
stances before the HoQge^ it had 
been thought that the changes 
would increase instead of diminish- 
ing the revenue; and, while it 
ati^brded relief to the subject, would 
be no disadvantage to the Govern- 
ment or to any party. Above all, 
it was thought that the condition 
of the farmer would be improved, 
and that a system mig^t be esta- 
blished which would acoomjpUsh 
this object, while it insured tegu- 
larity of supply to the community, 
without bolstering up the ma* 
chiuery of varying averages, the 
preservation of which would in- 
evitably lead to feelings of dis- 
satisfaction and discontent. His 
noble friend had omitted manr of 
the transactions which he nufffat 
have recounted ; he had overkioSed 
treaties concluded, reconciUatioos 
effected, and expalitions that had 
been succes^ul ; but no ynx d m 
that with opinions from which he 
xx)uld not escape^ on com, timbar» 
and sugar, he should fly fat 
grounds of attack to China and 
Affghanistan, the papers lektiag 
to which were not compktely hr* 
fore the House. These were Bal» 
he thought, sufficiently hroad Iboa* 
dations on which to raise the 
superstructures that had hew 
erected on them. 

This policy of his. noble friend 
evidently arose from no other mo- 
tive than his desire to avoid touch- 
ing on the great questioM at issue. 
He commended that fofysjf and 
the prudence that dicttted it.' 

He had been much-e|ruck» not 
only with what was en>reised^ 
but with what was omitted in die 
amendment. There was no ^nt 
of the suliject to whidi nohfe 
Lords were called upoi^ to piodge 



if there were anj who thought 
4hat the continuance of the Sugar 
•nd llmher-dutieSy as they existed 
at present, were essential to the 
interest of the colonies^ as that of 
the C<Nm-law was to the pros- 
perity of the agriculturist — if they 
were comforted by that amend- 
ment^ they were certainly the most 
easily consoled people he had ever 
fiiet with. 

' There was little else said in 
condemnation of the Government. 
' The Duke of Wellington, with 
iiis characteristic manliness and 
filiraesfi had given his approval to 
4he sumsvot^ for defraying the 
fspenies of the late various mili- 
tary expeditions, though frequently 
implying that the establishments 
wete not large enough ; yet with 
those establidbments and influence 
in every part at* the worlds they 
)iad miccessfuUy maintained the 
national honour and interests; and 
they had not only been maintained, 
)Nit the power of England had 
)ieea asserted and proved in a 
jpsmmer which would not be 
speedily forgotten. 
. It would be a satisfaction to the 
llinistryy that in the face of an 
Pj^Hisition, the most formidable 
and active which had ever thwarted 
WBL Administration, no opportunity 
had been supplied of proving that 
the honour of the country had 
ever been tarnished in their hands. 
. It would also be a matter for 
Mtirfactory reflection, that al« 
tiiough, for the present, they were 
MPSUCCRSsfiil in bringing their great 
oommeccial measures to a satisfac 
tory issue they had fairly taken 
lip and proposed them. 

They were prevented from con- 
dttcliqg them to the grand point 
tbey aSned at ; but the situation 
q{' the next Administration, when 
placed in auch a position as would 

enable it to enjoy a greater share 
of the confidence of both Houses 
of Parliament, than they had been 
enabled to possess, would be one 
of deep responsibility. 

The sooner the time arrived 
which should place them in pos- 
session of that greater share of 
confidenee the better ; for then he 
hoped that the cloud which seemed 
to hang over the opinions of the 
majority of that House would be 
dispersed; and that their views 
would at last become visible ; and 
when that event occurred, if their 
intended policy should appear to 
tend towards liberal measures and 
liberal principles, he was sure he 
was speaking the sentiments of 
every noble Lord near him, when 
he said, they should have their most 
unanimous and cordial support. 

The Earl of Coventry rose a- 
midst loud cries of ''question^ 
question," and after silence ,had 
been obtained, exclaimed-—** I am 
the Earl of Coventry ; a few words 
from me. I think the country is 
in a safe state and I hope to find 
it placed in the hands of the Duke 
of Wellington. M v Lords, I hope 
I have not detained you." 

The Marquess of Northampton 
said, that he would never consent 
to any vote expressing approbation 
of any Government unless he knew 
what were the measures which that 
Government intended to bring for- 
ward. The finances of the country 
now required that somethingshould 
be done. What could they do ? 
They must adopt the plan recom- 
mended by her Majesty's present 
Ministers — or borrow a loan— or 
further increase the taxes. Which 
of these plans were they prepared 
to adopt ? He was bound to con« 
fess that whilst he voted for the 
Address, he did so with reluctance 
— ^for he disagreed with his noble 

168] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

friends on the subject of the Sugar- 
duties, and also on that of Com. 
He differed with them as to the 
first point because he thought that 
the change which they proposed 
would lead to an increased cultiva- 
tion of sugar, and that must lead 
to an encouragement of the slave- 
trade. He thought that some ne- 
gotiations might be entered into 
with the Brazils by which this 
country would consent to receive 
their sugar^ if they entered into 
an agreement to abolish slavery. 
As to the Corn-laws^ though per- 
haps they might be changed with 
advantage, he did not approve of 
the fixed duty sanctioned by the 
Government. The sort of Corn- 
law he would support, would be 
one which contained the qualities 
both of a graduated scale and a fixed 

' I^rd Brougham in the course of 
a long speech said^ that he should 
vote in favour of the Address, al« 
though he did not wholly approve 
of the conduct of the Government, 
^fter adverting to the extreme fal- 
lacy of any arguments upon the 
Corn-law question, founded on a 
system of averages, the noble 
and learned Lord went on to say 
that he deemed the position in 
which her Majesty's Ministers 
stood to be a matter of great regret 
in a constitutional point of view. 
In counselling a dissolution of the 
late Parliament, it did appear to 
him that his noble friends had been 
ffuilty of a great error of judgment. 
It was wrong towards the state ; it 
was wrong towards the sovereign ; 
and it was doubly wrong towards 
those questions themselves, which 
as responsible advisers of the Crown 
they had brought under the consid- 
eration of Parliament. Would the 
questions suffer nothing by such 
brge majorities pronounced against 

them ? Undoubtedly a great in- 
jury would be done to these mea- 
sures ; they would be sacrificed in 
a hopeless attempt to prop up the 
fallen fortunes of a party in power 
who brought them forward. He 
would not admit that that was the 
construction to be put upon the 
verdict which the country ba4 
returned. He thought their 
Lordships would perceive that the 
verdict was on one issue and the 
trial on another^ that the country 
had given its verdict against the 
men, but that on the subject of their 
policy no verdict had been riven 
or opinion expressed. The iuiape 
in which the measures werebroo^t 
forward appeared to be another and 
a very serious impediment to sue 
cess. The measures were good in 
themselves. The principles on 
which they were rounded were 
sound. They were calculated to 
relieve the trade of the countiy ; 
but they were not brought forwud 
as measures for relieving that trade. 
Upon that foundation they could 
have stood, and stood firmly ; hut 
they were brought forward as mea- 
sures of finance. That was a 
rotten foundation, and upon that 
foundation they could not stand. 
As to the Corn-laws, it was a very 
considerable improvement upon the 
sliding-scale to substitute a fixed 
duty. He was against any sudden 
total repeal of the Corn-laws, or 
of what was called the protective 
duties, but he thought it oueht to 
be gradual yet totals and no doubt 
in a few years the repeal might he 
completed. The total repeal of the 
Corn-laws would certainly reduce 
the price of corn, but the Minis- 
terial proposition would not at all* 
He had always argued before their 
Lordships, and elKwhere, that the 
agriculturists as greadr ezageera- 
ted the effects to m aatioipatfa ond 



way from the repeal, as the manu** 
facturers did the other way. The 
Government had not the right to 
speak of their measure as calcula- 
ted to cheapen com, seeing that it 
could not possihly lower the price 
of com one farthing. Still as a 
measure suhstituting a fixed duty 
for a sliding-scale it would produce 

most important and most henefidal 
results. In conclusion, the noble 
Lord said, that he would vote 
heartily for the Address. 

Their Lordships then divided on 
the original question, when there 
appeared ; Contents 96 ; Not con- 
tents 168. Majority against Min* 
isters 72. 

170] ANNUAL REGISTER,:i841. 


Meeting of the New House of Commons — Election of Speaker — Mr. 
Shaw Lefevre is proposed hy Lord Worsley^ seconded hy Mr, E, 
Fuller — Sir Robert Peel declares his concurrejice^ and the. Motion is 
carried without a division — The Speaker returns Thanks—^Renutrks 
of Lord John Russell, and Reference made hy him to the preceding 
Speaker — Debate in tlie House of Commons on the Queen's Speech — 
The Address is moved hy Mr. Mark Phillips, seconded by mr. John 
Dundas — Mr. J. S. Wortley moves an Amendment, negativing the 
Confidence of the House in the Government — It is seconded hy Lord 
Bruce — The Debate is continued for four nights — Summary tftke 
Arguments of the various Speakers on both sides — Important Speeches 
of Sir Robert Peel and Lord John Russell — Division, and Majority 
of 91 against the Government^ Mr, S, Crawford moves another 
Amendment — It leads to a Division of the Liberal Members : iiis 
rejected by a large Majority — Answer of her Majesty to the Address^ 
as amended — The Ministry determine to resign Office^^Th^r Re- 
tirement is announced hy Viscount Melbourne in the House of Peers, 
and hy Lord John Russell in the House of Commons — The loiter 
vindicates the course pursued by the Government — He deprecates 
personal Animosity between Opponents — Speech of Lord Stanley^ 
He disclaims feelings of Enmity towards Lord John Russell — His 
remarks on the Language of the Royal Speech^^Lord John Rusidl 
explains — Motions for £^ew Writs on acceptance of Office hy the New 
Ministers — The House adjourns for the Elections — Complete IMiof 
Sir Rohert PeeVs Admitiistration, 

THE first business to be per- 
formed by the new House of 
Commons was the election of a 
Speaker. To this events on the 
present occasion, no particular in- 
terest was attached^ as it was well 
known that it was not the inten- 
tion of the Conservative party to 
offer any opposition to the re- 
election of Mr. Shaw Lefevre^ who 
had given complete satisfaction to 
both sides of the House in the pre- 
ceding Parliament. He was now 

proposed by Lord Worsley, who 
said, that he was sure the leadiog 
Members on the other side woofi 
gladly be presided over by aSpeaker 
possessing, in so great a degree, the 
requisite qualifications for the du- 
ties of the Chair ; and (from the 
cheers which ensued) he was glad 
to collect that there was no inten- 
tion on the other side of pcoposiiig 
a Speaker inexperienced in the 
affairs of the House. He quoted 
the favourable opinion pronounced 



<m Mr. Shaw Lefevre in the last 
Parliament by Lord Stanley, and 
added a short panegyric of his 

Mr. £. BuUer, in seconding the 
motion, expatiat^on the attention^ 
•ability, and impartiality, which 
Mr. Shaw Lefevre had always 
brouffht to that important part of 
his £ity which related to private 
•business, and dwelt upon his power 
^ controlling in the Chair the un- 
jnily passions of the House. The 
i^e-etection of Mr, Shaw Lelevre 
would he a hiffh gratification to 
tlioae whose onginal selection of 
liim would thus be sanctioned by 
«iOther vote in his favour, while it 
would do honour to the members 
iif that par^ which had originally 
opposed him. Mr* BuUer pro- 
-oeeded to say, " that whether the 
.HouMe*8hould adopt those measures 
whioh he himself thought essential 
to the public good, or whetlier an 
^opposite course should be resolved 
W* {murvnirs qf disapprobation) 
•T-pemps he was deviating from 
-die sttict course of the business in 
which the House was then engaged, 
Imdif so, he threw himself upon its 
jftuflveaess; but, at all events, tlie 
adrantageof so competent a Speaker 
-oQidd not fail to be felt in their 

. Sir Robert Peel said , he intended 
OB ibis occasion to act on the prin- 
ci|>le for which he had contended 
in 1835, and on which he had 
.acted ia 1837. That was the 
pioGiple supported by the best 
pfeoedents. Until the time of 
Lord North's objection to the re- 
election of Sir F. Norton, no 
Speaker in possession of the Chair 
hftd been deprived of it by an 
adverse majority. Mr. Pitt, Lord 
.GrtnviDe» and Lord Grey had 
jmHteA cm the principle he now sup. 
^pqrtejk He admitted^ certably^ 

that to such a principle there would 
be a fair exception in the case of an 
incompetent Speaker ; but he was 
bound, in the present instance, to 
bear testimony to the merits of a 
Grentleman who had established in 
the Chair a moral influence of in- 
finite importance to the due con- 
duct of their proceedings. 

Mr. Shaw Lefevre rose to ex- 
press bis gratitude for the com- 
mendations bestowed upon him, 
-which he regarded as an amjde 
reward for the toil and responsi- 
bility of the Chair. His official 
experience had taught him to see 
more clearly than ever the neces- 
sity of preserving not only the 
privileges of the House, but like- 
wise its rules and orders. With 
that feeling, be should have great 
apprehensions in resuming the sta- 
tion he had filled, were it not for 
his reliance on the kindness and 
-support of the House. 

Having been then led to the 
Chair between the mover and the 
seconder, the Speaker returned his 
thanks to the House for the honour 
done to him, and assured them 
that no efibrt should be wanting 
on his part toward the discharge of 
the duty intrusted to him. 

Lord John Russell congratu- 
lated the House on the unanimity 
of their election, and on the qua- 
lification of the Speaker elected. 
It had been his own habit to agree 
with the present Speaker upon 
most political and constitutional 
questions, and he rqjoiced to see 
that both parties equally concurred 
in this day's choice. In 1835 he 
bad thought that drcumstanoes 
connected with the personal oon« 
duct of Sir C. Manners Sutton 
made it necessary, that in spite of 
that gentleman's eminent fitness 
for the duties of the Chair, another 
Speaker should be i^hosea; -he had. 

172] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

not proceeded exclusively on the 
ground that the Speaker's politics 
ought to be those of the majority. 

The House then adjourned. 

Several davs were then con- 
sumed in swearing in Members. 
This being completed, on the 24th 
August, the Speaker having read 
from the Chair the Speech de- 
livered in the other House by the 
Lords Commissioners, Mr. Mark 
Phillips rose to move an Address 
in consonance with it. In advert- 
ing to our foreign relations, as in- 
dicated in the Speech^ he declared 
the great satisfaction which^ as the 
representative of a great manu- 
facturing constituency^ he felt at 
the restoration of pacific dispo- 
flitions throughout Europe^ and ex- 
pressed his hope, that the dispute 
with China would be adjusted on 
a footing of general advantage to 
British commerce. He trusted that 
the House would adopt the recom- 
mendation in the Speech, for a 
careful examination of the present 
Customs' duties. Much complaint 
had been made on the opinions 
advanced in the report of last year's 
Committee upon Imports; but none 
of the objectors had attempted to 
correct those opinions by the ap- 
pointment of another Committee 
for the revision of the subject. He 
intimated his approbation of the 
proposals made by Ministers re- 
specting the Sugar-duties, and then 
TOOceeded to the question of the 
Corn-laws. He represented the 
distress in the districts within his 
own knowledge to be now un- 
usually severe, and called upon the 
Members for other manufacturing 
constituencies to bear their testi- 
mony to the like efiect. The 
people would not bear their sufier- 
mgs patiently^ while the monopoly 
occasioned by the present Com-I 
laws should continue unaltered. 

He had seen with disgust, in cer- 
tain newspapers, an allegationt that 
England would be no sufierer if the 
ploughshare were driven thcoogh 
the manufacturing districts. Thm 
who threw out such opinions shooU 
remember, that but t6c the. manu- 
factures exported from England, 
the articles.of their own daily com- 
fort would not be broia^t into the 
English market; they shonld xe- 
member, that the interests of the 
manufacturing were also the in. 
terests of the agricultural dasKS. 
He referred to the evils iitfljftfti 
on the monied and other interests 
by that general contraction of a 
paper currency oonvertiUe into 
gold, which must nekis ensue 
wherever gold was the only medium 
for the purchase of corn. He ap- 
pealed to experience, to show uie 
general inutility of protections to 
the very classes for whose pcofit 
they were intended. He uiged 
the patience with which the people 
had endured their sufierings, and 
confidently appealing to the qrm* 
pathy of the House, rrad the Ad- 
dress which he had risen to pro- 
pose, and which as usual adopledt 
mutatis mutandis^ the langosige of 
the Speech. 

Mr. John Dundas, in seooodinff 
the Address, went cursorily thxoum 
the principal topics of the Speeoij 
and then expressed his hopp, that 
the doctor about to be caded in, 
who had declined to disclose he- 
forehand his system of treatmeDlt 
would in this, as in former in** 
stances, adopt the prescriptions of 
his rival practitioners. 

Mr. J. S. Wortl^ trusted that 
the excuse would be foond tn his 
making so early an address to the 
House, in the circumstances under 
which he had been returned to 
Parliament, by a great body of thai 
ipeople to whom her MiK|es^ had 



directed the recent appeal to be 
made* It could not be otherwise 
than renoectful^ nay, it was due to 
the Crown, to carry up, at the 
earliest possible moment, the an- 
swer which the people had com- 
miasioned their representatives to 
return to her Majesty's question. 
In proposing to do so, he was fol- 
lowing the example which, in 
1885, was set by his predecessor. 
Viscount Morpeth, and recom- 
mended in the address then made 
by Lord John Russell to his con- 
atituents. The question was now, 
whether a Ministry circumstanced 
like the present Government were 
entitled to dictate the Address of 
the House of Commons. The 
Mover had attributed the existing 
diatreas solely to the rejection of 
the Ministerial policy; but this 
was not the question to-night. The 
House, before those topics should 
be argued, must decide what Go- 
vemment was to deal with them. 
The present Ministers had for- 
feited the confidence of the coun- 
try by the pledges they had broken 
ai^ the delusions they had at- 
tempted. The chief among them 
bad been members of Lord Grey's 
Crovemment, which had professed 
the great principles of peace, eco- 
nomy, and reform. They affected 
to have some exclusive secret for 
avoiding war. Now, in the fifteen 
years preceding their accession to 
power, the only act of war had 
been the. accidental affair of Nava- 
rino ; but in the ten years follow- 
ing their accession, the wars they 
engaged in, though little ones, 
were no fewer than five. Of their 
expenditure he would not com. 
plain, it might have been neces- 
sary ; but what right had they to 
take credit for a superior saving, 
when they had increased instead 
of diminiidiing the burdens of the 

country? In their reforms they 
had certainly gone great lengths, 
but they had pushed their rearms 
in those directions only in which 
the tendency of them was to weaken 
their political opponents. They 
had boasted of governing without 
patronage ; yet how had they la- 
vished their places and their peer- 
ages! He then gave the history 
of their tergiversations on the sub- 
ject of the Appropriation clause, 
and on the items of this very 
Budget, particularly on the Sugar- 
duty, as to which, so lately as last 
year, they had on principle resisted 
the alterations now so vehemently 
urged by themselves. He bore his 
testimony to the fortitude with 
which the people had endured their 
privations, and to their sagacity 
in detecting the delusive attempt 
made upon their understanding by 
a Government advancing Minis- 
terial measures without Ministerial 
power to carry them. If, however, 
there was in the principle of free- 
trade something really valuable to 
the country, it would not be lost 
by the fall of this Administration. 
What had been the conduct of 
Viscount Melbourne on the Corn- 
laws ? Only last year he had de- 
signated the idea of the now pro- 
posed change as absolute madness, 
and depreciited the scheme of a 
fixed duty as a movement that 
w^ould stir up the very foundations 
of society. Mr. Wortley then ob- 
served upon the precarious state of 
our foreign relations, and noticed, 
in language of astonishment, the re- 
markable omission of all reference 
to our important discussion with the 
United States. Nor could he pass 
over the countenance given by the 
Government to agitation, and its 
alliance with those who, while on 
one day they offer the most ful- 
some adulation to her Majesty, on 

174] ANNUAL REGISTER,. 1841. 

the next Are treasonably gloating 
over the prospect of foreign war, 
for the promotion of their own 
political objects. A Government, 
of which all these things were 
true^ was no longer to be trusted 
with the management of public 
a^irs ; and he would now submit 
an amendment, by which he would 
propose to express the regret of 
the House at the recent increase 
of expenditure, its determination 
to provide for that increase, and its 
earnest desire to promote the we]- 
lare of her Majesty's subjects; 
and respectfully represent to her 
Majesty the necessity that her 
Ministers should enjoy the con- 
fideqce of the countrv, which the 
present Administration did not 

Lord Bruce seconded the amend- 
ment. He hoped it would be his 
apolpgy, that as the intention was 
to express the sympathy of the 
present House with that vote by 
which the last House declared the 
un worthiness of the Ministers, a 
member who had not belonged to 
the last House was, therefore, per- 
haps, a fitter exponent of this in- 
tention. The recent dissolution 
could have been justified only by a 
successful event; its failure was 
conclusive against the Govern- 
ment. Had Lord John Russell, 
in his late address to his constitu- 
ents, expressed his regret for the 
advice he had given, or for the 
aggravation which the dissolution, 
by its suspension of all business, 
had added to the distress of the 
operatives ? Had he informed the 
citizens of London that Ministers 
had resigned their offices into the 
hands ot the Sovereign, or that 
they had desisted at least from the 
exercise of Ministerial patronage ? 
The Gazette gave the He to the 
latter hypothesia. These were the 

men who, not eonteat inth the 
condemnation of one Houae of 
Commons, had braved the indiy 
nation of a seoond* Th^ had 
tried to engross the public mind 
with the subject of free*tnMk», 
conveniently for themaelvctt if at- 
tention could thus hate been di- 
verted from their various delin* 
quencies; but the public had oome 
to the conclusion, that their achemcs 
had neither the caution of Mr. 
Huskisson nor the manlineai of 
the Ultra-schooL For hia own 
part, he could oonaeni to. no plan 
of free-trade, which Was to throw 
vast numbers of his fdlow-aulgectt 
irremediably out of empkqrt He 
strongly condemned the iai|nila^ 
tions cast upon all who nppoicfl 
the Ministerial {Hrojeet Of all 
monopolies, the most ariOMiit and 
intoleraUe was the aflbetS flMno* 
poly of all public virtue G|«at ai 
were the aifficulties id ibm time. 
he trusted that Sir Robot Peei 
would meet them with a firm itt* 
liance on the support df the peopb| 
and when at last, in opune of time, 
he should be succeeded t^ odMr 
statesmen, would lea^e tbem a 
legacy far different from that wUdi 
he was now about to receive firom 
the Whig Administration. 

Mr. Labouchere aaidi that the 
Ministers were as glad ai tbeir 
opponents, that the time had come 
for fully expounding their poUeyi 
and for quitting their poaition if 
that policy should be diaapproved 
by the House. He admitted the 
course taken by the Oppoaition to 
be a fair one, but hie had listened 
in vain to learn what policy it was 
on which they were prepared to 
bestow their approbation. Moch 
was said of the retention of office 
by the present Ministers, in the 
face of a manifest majcuity ; bat 
Sir Robert Peel had done the 



in 1635> even after a defeat 
on the Speaker's election^ and an- 
other oh the Address. Mr. La- 
boucfaere then claimed credit to 
Earl Grey's GrovemmeDt for hav- 
ing done all that was possible^ and 
under difficult circumstances^ to 
flilfil their pledges of peace^ eco- 
nomy^ and reform. Happy would 
he the new Ministers if^ for the 
next ten years, the state of Europe 
alMNild be as peaceful as for the 
last ten years it had been. As to 
eoooomy , it was rather the province 
of the Opposition than of the Mi- 
niaters to control expense ; but the 
If iniitteni had conducted their ex« 
penaes in the spirit of economy* 
wUdi was all they had assumed to 
dOb As to reforms, they had ef- 
fteted many, in which they had no 

Crty object whatever ; and he 
ked back to those reforms with 
fiaelings of unmixed satisfaction. 
In matters of commerce, there had 
been but little of legislative reform 
from any Ministry. Mr. Huskis- 
flon's reforms had been reluctantly 
permitted by his own adherents, 
bot supported by the Whigs, who 
always had refused^ and, he trust- 
ed* always would, in or out of 
offioei refuse to meet questions of 
oommerce as questions of party. 
The difficulties which always beset 
commercial legislation had un- 
doubtedly checked the Whig Mi- 
nisters in this kind of reform. But 
they had at length resolved to 
bring the whole subject under the 
consideration of the House. He 
recapitulated the commercial mea- 
sures introduced by them last 
mring, banning with the Bill for 
toe fcUef oi the West-Indians from 
the old limitations of their markets, 
apd |iroceeding to the proposals of 
ijterations in the Sugar-duties and 
IB the Corn-laws. On this last 
he professed himself unable 

to understand the views of those 
who brought forward the amend- 
ment ; but if ever there was a time 
for revising these laws, it was the 
present. For some time past we 
had annually imported 1,500,000 
quarters of com, and it was idle, 
therefore, to talk about preserving 
ourselves in a state of independence 
of foreign supply. Our imports of 
com from Ireland, too, had been 
for some years on the decrease. 
He then commented severely on 
the fraud occasioned by the present 
mode of taking the averages*- a 
fraud which he knew of no means 
to prevent, but by which the 
landed interests were deprived of 
their desired protection for the 
benefit, and at the pleasure, aS 
speculators and gamblers. What- 
ever protection,, thereforei the 
House might think fit to ^ve^ 
ought, in his opinion, to be given 
in the shape of a fixed duty ; nor 
could he comprehend how a sliding* 
scale, which was applicable to no 
other commerce, should be good 
for the trade in com. But how 
were the deficiencies of the revenue, 
to be supplied? Not, surely, by; 
fresh taxation. He \yas himself 
persuaded, that much might have 
been done for the relief of the 
people by the removal of various 
Import-duties, and he exemplified 
his opinion by some details. He 
then repeated the often-made call 
upon the leaders of the Opposi- 
tion, to declare their own view of. 
public policy, for the country would 
not be satisfied if the result of this 
debate should be a mere recom- 
mendation of a change of Ministers, 
instead of an undertaking to con-' 
sider the great questions referred 
by her Majesty to the House of 

Mr. D'Israeli observed, that Mr. 
Labouchere's parallel between Sir 

176] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Robert Peel's Government and the 
present was defective in these re- 
spects — that no vote of want of 
confidence was recorded against Sir 
Robert Peel^ and that his disso1u« 
tion made an unprecedented addi- 
tion to his numbers. The ground 
which the people had taken in the 
late elections was^ that the affiurs 
of this country ought not to be 
left with a Government whose 
councils were held^ not to delibe- 
rate upon public measures, but to 
devise the means of securing a 
majority. What had that Govern- 
ment done since the vote denying 
to it the confidence of the House, 
to justify the restoration of Par- 
liamentary support? They had 
proceeded to a dissolution, and the 
result of it proved that it had 
been either a blunder or a crime. 
They had profaned the name of 
the Queen at their elections^ as if 
she had been a second candidate at 
some petty poll. It had been said, 
that the sovereign of a faction was 
the sovereign but of part of the 
people ; but a Whig sovereign 
would be the sovereign of not 
hJEilf, no, not an eighth, of the 
people. The Whigs ought to blush 
for the position in which they had 
placed their sovereign. Would 
they found their claims to con- 
fidence upon the Speech this day 
delivered ? It was a speech made 
by a set of men who continued, in 
some mysterious way, to be Minis- 
ters still, though their leader him. 
self, in his late letter to his con- 
stituents, had avowed that the 
majority of the House was op- 
posed to his Government. 

Mr. Bemal, jun., thought Mr. 
D'Israeli but httle entitled to in- 
veigh against the Liberals, inas- 
much as he had formerly been of 
their opinions. Mr. Bemal thought 
the Com*law8 ought to have been 

remodelled before the present Poor- 
law was passed. 

Sir C. Napier desired the Op. 
position to remember, that the ware 
waged by this Government, if thej 
had been little wars, had been man 
of little expense and productive of 
great results. Those wars had 
given a free government to Spun, 
and had put down a gross tynnmy 
m Syria. 

Lord Pollington admitted, that 
the best part of the Ministerial 
policy was the foreigpi, but tboogfat 
that even as to this there was bot 
too much ground for censure. He 
adverted to the composition of the 
majority on his own nde ; it was a 
majority returned by the counties, 
while the rotten boroughs of Mal- 
ton and Calne were represented on 
the Ministerial benches. 

Mr. Roebuck declared that he 
should vote in favour of the Amend- 
ment, but not for the reascms i^ven 
by those who brought it forward ; 
for his cause of dislike to the 
Whigs was, that they too mudi 
resembled the Tories. The present 
question would be, which jmrtf 
would serve the public best ; and 
in order to decide that, he would 
take a retrospect of the conduct of 
both. The Whigs were now ruin* 
ed; not, however, by the Con« 
servative feelins of the people, bat 
by their own misconduct — by their 
stopping short in the reforms re- 
quired of them; and they could 
recover their power only by a laag 
virtuous course of opposition. U 
was unavailing for the Ministers to 
complain that they had been do* 
feated by bribery and intimidation, 
for these were the natural inci- 
dents of the system which thej 
had protected. Looking back for 
the last ten years, he found Sir 
Robert Peel and his party opposing 
all reforms. The Conservatives at 



tbe late elections had« moreover^ 
basely, and with every vulgar ari^ 
endeavoured to f^in favour by con-' 
demnine the Poor-law which their 
leader had supported^ and their 
leader had not dared to rebuke 
diem.. Such were the merits of 
Ae two contending parties. The 
Tories would now rule^ for they 
i^resented the majority; it was 
the majority indeed of the con- 
adtueodes, not of the people ; but 
that was the fault of the Minis- 
teis^ who would not invest the 
people with elective power. He 
then reviewed certain parts of the 
fiyreign policy of the Government. 
He condemned the war with China^ 
and dedaied his entire approval of 
the conduct pursued by the Ame- 
xican government in the affair of 
M'Le^ upon which he entered 
into a bng disquisition. 

Mr. Muntz said a few words in 
explaaation of his own views^ as 
to the effect of Corn-laws upon 

Mr. Ewart moved an adjourn- 
meat^ on which the gallery was 
eltared for a division, but the 
Bouse finally adjourned without 

The adjourned debate was begun 
"hy Mr. Ewart, who began by com. 
plaining that sympathy was not 
enough for the people ; they asked 
for bread, and must not be put off 
with a stone. He admitted that 
the constituencies had decided 
against the existing Government, 
and that it must now therefore 
make way for a new Ministry ; but 
be expected that Sir Robert Peel, 
as in the case of the Roman Catho- 
lic question, would himself do the 
very thing he had resisted, and, 
like Shakspeare's apothecary, ex- 
cuse himself by saying, '* my pov- 
erty, but not my will, consents.*' 
The rest of Mr. E wart's speech 


was an extended disquisition upon 
those general principles of political 
economy, on which the doctrines 
of free-trade are founded. 

Captain HamUton desired to re- 
call the House to the real question, 
which was that of confidence in 
the Ministry. Mr. Hume in the 
debate on the confidence question 
in the late Parliament, had caution- 
ed him and other members as to 
the account they would have to 
give to their constituents. In this 
Mr. Hume must have much mis- 
calculated the opinions of the elec- 
tors, else, why was he not here ? 

Mr. Ward admitted, that the 
election of the member who had 
moved the amendment was a great 
triumph to his party, but thought 
it also one of the greatest mistakes 
which had been made by the peo- 
ple. Members seemed to have two 
sets of opinions — one for the hust- 
ings, and one for the House. The 
mover had presented himself to the 
West Riding as the champion of 
the Corn-laws, but in his speech to 
this House he had taken no notice 
whatever of that subject. There 
was another matter which he did 
notice — that of the Appropriation 
clause and its abandonment bv the 
Whigs ^ a bold argument from a 
supporter of that statesman who 
had so signally abandoned his 
own opinions on the other great 
Irish question, the Roman Catholic 
Relief Bill. For his own part, he 
blamed both Lord John Russell 
and Sir Robert Peel for not having 
resigned at once, rather than sub- 
mit to take a course opposed to 
their former declarations, and both 
of them had suffered for the mis- 
take. The harvest would soon 
neutralize the efforts of the new 
majority. His accounts led him 
to anticipate a woeful deficiency, 
which would be seriously aggrava- 


178] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

ted by a few more such days as 
that which had jnst closed. {Cries 
of ** No,") Such at least were 
his accounts ; perhaps they varied 
with each man's political wishes. 
{Cheers from the Opposition,) He 
did not wish to make the weather 
a party question^ but he would 
have the House remember that 
four millions sterling in gold must 
go out of the country to purchase 
the supply which would be wanted. 
He then went on to argue for the 
principle of a fixed duty, as against 
that of a sliding-scale. The re- 
sult of the present system was an 
extensive decay in the manufactur- 
ing districts. There were now in 
Sheffield 2,000 unoccupied houses, 
which had been tenanted when 
6rst he knew them. The circum- 
stances of the country would not 
be improved by the expensive 
measure of Church-extension, nor 
was much good to be expected on 
the subject of the Poor-law from 
a leader whose supporters had gone 
so far at their elections in vituper- 
ation of its principle. For Ire- 
land, he saw much to regret, and 
nothing to rejoice at, in the change 
of policy now at hand ; most of 
the principal members of the Con- 
servative party were even person- 
ally committed against the Irish 
people. Considerations like these 
should lead the House to pause be- 
fore they voted the transfer of 
power to such hands. 

Mr. C. J. M. Sutton said, that 
just as the Members of that House 
were bound to prove themselves 
qualified for their seat<, so ought 
the Ministers of the Crown to sub- 
stantiate their qualifications for 
their offices. He would not now 
detain the House upon the question 
of the Address, but he would take 
the liberty of asking Lord John 
Russell to what he had alluded in 

saying, on the late electum of the 
Speaker, that he had been induced 
to oppose in 1835 the re-election of 
Sir C. Manners Sutton on the 
ground of his personal conduct. 

Lord John Russell answered, 
that as Sir Robert Peel had rrfer- 
red the course taken in 1835 solely 
to the principle then affimiedf that 
the Speaker's opinions ought to be 
those of the majority of the House, 
he had thought it right to explain 
that he had himsdf proceeded, 
partly at least, on another ground: 
which was, that Sir C. M. Sutton, 
then Speaker of a House of Com* 
mons containing a large majority 
of members favourable to Lord 
Melbourne's Government, had at- 
tended Privy Councils held for the 
purpose of transferring the powen 
of the State to the party al thb 
minority. He acquitted Sir C. H. 
Sutton of any intentional diatenect 
to the House in attending those 
Councils, but he regarded sudi at- 
tendance as an error of judgment 
sufficient to exclude him from the 

Dr. Bowring enlarged upon the 
present suffering of the manofae' 
turing poor« and ascribed it to the 
present state of the Corn-laws. 
He represented the impossifailitj of 
preserving our foreL^^ oommeroe 
without great legis&tive altera* 
tions, and warned the House tW 
it must either go forward toward 
liberalism, or backward toward 

Mr. Patrick Stewart denied that 
the question of Confidence in the 
Ministry was the only proper mat- 
ter of this debate. Representing 
a great Scotch county, where ' 
distress prevailed among the agri- 
cultural as well as among the manu- 
facturing classes, he would con- 
tend for the principle of firee-trade 
advanced by the Ministerial Bud- 



E. As a oolonial proprietor^ hd 
led the System now proposed, 
whtch went, for the first timei to 
treat the British colonists simply as 
British subjects* He contended 
fW a fixed duty on com in prefer<- 
ence to a sliding-seale. Ministers 
had been blamed for agitation upon 
this subjeoti but it was a subject 
on which he thought agitation 
fully justifiable, and which, being 
agitated) Was properly made the 
ground of a dissolution. He cen* 
sured the language held the pre<* 
ceding night by Mr. Roebuck on 
the case m M'Leod^ and declared 
his opinion, that whaterer harm 
should be done to M'Leod, was 
done to M British natibn. And 
ha e(j|Uall)r differed from Mr. Roe« 
bttek oti the question with the 
Chinesei who onghtj inhisjudg- 
maUt, to be made to pay for every 
pound of the opiuiti seiaed. It 
Would be fair to give credit to the 
Mitlilfters ndt only for their conduct 
ill tlibBe matters, but fur the hen&*^ 
ficisl legislation of several years 
pi t""f ot the Reform Acts^ the 
Cftporation Act8> the Poor-laws, 
tla Tithe Aot^ the Reeistratidn of 
Bhrths, the changes of the Criminal 
Laiw$0 and the union of the Cana- 
das. With respect to their Bud- 
get, it had many merits, but cer- 
tainly not that of originality : for 
ita leading features would be found 
in a pamphlet attributed to Sir 
James Graham^ on Corn and Cur- 
rency, which had gone through 
tout editions. He hoped that Sir 
James> when he returned to office, 
would return to his old opinions. 
After some pleasantries in reference 
to Sir Robert Peel's sketch of a 
Chftnoellor of the Exchequer fish- 
itlg for a Budget, he concluded 
with a declaration that he would 
not rest by day or by night from 
worrying his opponents to carry 

out the principles for whidh h^ 
had now been contending. 

Mr. Sliarman Crawford denied 
the existing Com-laws to be for 
the advantage of the agricultural 
interest in general. They bene- 
fitted the landlords only, not the 
tenants, nor the labourers. He 
found fault with some omissions in 
the Address, but declined to Support 
the amendment* 

Mr. Cobden thought that if 
gentlemen on the other side did 
not choose to answer the speeches 
in favour of the Address, that was 
no reason why the friends of the 
Budget should not do their duty 
by stating their opinions. He 
would express his own hostility td 
the taxes upon food, upon the sub- 
sistence of honest, Struggling, 
working people* It pressed upon 
them in an infinitely heavier pro* 
portion thati on the rich^ for the 
family of a man worth 20,000^ 
a year scarcely consumed more 
bread than the family of the poor- 
est labourer. It was alleged on 
behalf of the Corn-laws that they 
protected the labourer— that the 
object of the manufacturers in 
seeking a repeal of the Corn-laws 
was to effect a reduction in the 
labourers wageSb No: the real 
object of the manufacturers Was 
to increase trade -, that would in- 
crease the demand for labour, and 
with the demand the wages of 
labour must also be increased. 
There was no connexion between 
a high price of food and a high 
price of labour, except perhaps m 
agricultural districts^ where the 
stipend of the labourer in dear 
seasons received some addition, as 
matter of charity. The reports 
produced at the recent conference 
of ministers at Manchester exhibi- 
ted a lamentable account of the 
diminution in the people's means 


180] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

of subsMtenee. Those ministers 
were now ptaying in their respec- 
tive places of worship, that the 
hearts of the legislature might be 
turned. If it was criminal to 
steal a maii< and make him work 
for nothing, it was equally criminal 
to steal from a free man the fair 
reward of his labour, and the House 
should beware how it enlisted in 
such a cause the teachers of relig- 
ion. This was surely a subject 
that might claim priority over a 
questipn, whether a gentleman on 
one side or a gentleman on the 
other should be a Minister of the 
Crown. He would quote a passage 
from Mr. Huskisson in order that 
the real opinions of that statesman 
might be more accurately known, 
that Sir Robert Peel might not 
fancy he wore Mr. Huskisson's 
mantle, when in fact he was but 
putting on his cast-off garments. 
The passage in question went to 
show that the repeal of the Corn- 
laws would not necessarily injure 
the landed interest. It was happy 
for the country that no Ministers 
could go on without money, and 
money they could not have, except 
in a prosperous state of the mer- 
cantile and manufacturing classes. 

Mr. H. Baillie expressed his be- 
lief that the distress of the people 
was rather to be attributed to the 
increase of machinery: if he thought 
it was owing to the Corn-laws, he 
would vote for their repeal. 

Mr. Brotherton advocated an 
opposite view. 

Mr. H. Grattan said, that at no 
one election in Ireland had there 
been any expression of determina- 
tion to maintain the Corn-laws — a 
sign that the Irish would make 
great personal sacrifices to show 
their disapprobation of the threat- 
ened change of Ministry. It was 
not respectful to the Crown to say 

that you would give no answer to 
its Message until it should have 
dismissed its messengers. The 
party opposite boasted of their 
majority ; it had been returned 1^ 
bribery, it had been returned by 
intimidation. He called on Sir 
Robert Peel to keep his followen 
in order ; but apprehended that the 
right honourable Baronet, like 
Actseon, was likely to be eaten 
up by his own hounds. Mr. Cirat- 
tan complained of irregolar^ties at 
several elections, and of the em- 
ployment of military, with an en. 
thusiasm and energy which oeca* 
sioned a good deal of cheering and 
laughter. At one election, said, 
he, an officer stated, that appre- 
hending a riot, he had ordered oot 
"Justice to Ireland;" and bong 
asked what he meant by justice to. 
Ireland, he answered, *'A six- 
pounder." The party who were 
now declaring war against Itdand 
had better beware of America. 
He would not fight the battle of 
such a party against an Americaa, 
or any other external invasioa. 
He censured the ingratitude of the 
English people to the Whig Minis* 
try, and trusted that his own coun- 
trymen would ever be united in the 
cause of civil and religious freedom. 

After a few words from Lend 
Worsley and Mr. Hastie, the de- 
bate was again adjourned on the 
motion of Lord Sandon. 

Lord Sandon, who opened tihe 
adjourned debate on the following 
evening, began by contending that 
the question of free-trade was not 
that upon which Parliament was 
sent to the country ;'for if a single 
defeat were a sufficient motive for 
the dissolution, the Ministers had 
often had that motive before; It 
was the distinct condemnation im- 
plied in the vote of want of con- 
fidence which really obliged the 



Ministers to dissolve^ and that 
therefore was the question actually 
submitted to the country. Speak- 
ing for himself, he could truly say 
that he appealed to his constituents 
to know whether they approved of 
the Government's Irish Adminis- 
tration, of their conduct with re- 
spect to the Church, and the dis- 
tritnition of patronage and magis- 
terial appointments : questions 
more deeply and permanently 
afiecting the interests of men than 
the questions whether a sliding- 
scale should be preferred to a fixed 
duty, and whether Brazil sugar 
should be admitted at one time or 
aDother; and the verdict of the 
'peojde was given on these ques- 
tions. He believed, indeed, that 
It also Intimated that the people 
were not satisBed with the propo- 
sitiona'of Government; though he 
did ntft mean to say, that in return- 
ing bim^ who preferred the sliding 
duty to the fixed duty, they ex- 
pected any opinion on that point ; 
ye( he did believe, that they gave 
tfae negative to the proposition of 
lllinisters for the total abolition of 
ibe Corn-laws. They might be, 
and he believed they were, divided 
cm the mode and degree of protec 
tion; but he believed that the 
great majority were entirely united 
cm the principle that domestic and 
oolonial produce were entitled to 
protection. He was not insensible 
to the sufferings of the people, but 
be thought that the question of 
measures like these could be more 
safely intrusted to others than the 
present Ministry. Lord Sandon 
pointed wi(h satisfaction to the 
fact that the price of sugar was 
still low: showing, contrary to 
' the predictions of the opposite party 
in the debate on the Sugar duties, 
that there was an increased 
-supply from the West Indies. 

Mr. ;M. Gibson expressed his 
disbelief .thut : Lord Sandon really 
represented the opinions of Liver- 
pool, but being admonished by the 
Speaker that it was irregular to 
make such an assertion respecting 
a Member of Parliament, he qua- 
lified what he had said on that 
point. He then complained of the 
.doubt and uncertainty in which 
the country was left as to the 
policy intended to be pursued by 
Sir Robert Peel on his succeeding 
to the Government, which, he 
said, were much more likely to 
produce those injurious effects upon 
trade and commerce which were 
imputed to Ministerial agitation. 
He referred to the declaration of 
the Duke of Richmond in the 
House of Lords, that if the new 
Minister should attempt to intro- 
duce anything like the measures of 
the Whig Government, the landed 
interest would drive him from 
power. He, Mr. Gibson, however 
could not believe that the right 
honourable Baronet, if he came 
into office, would abandon that 
sound principle which he had so 
emphatically laid down at the time 
of introducing the Roman Catholic 
Relief Bill — that of yielding to 
the pressure of the times, and con- 
ceding when no longer able to re« 
sist. Surely he could not shut his 
eyes to the fact, that at the present 
moment, such was the state of our 
commercial interests, so great was 
the distress and difficulty of obtain-^ 
ing employment for the labouring 
classes, and such was the spirit of 
discontent and disaffection growing 
up in the country, that he would 
be unable to resist the repeal of 
the Corn-laws, and the relaxation 
of our commercial code. Mr* 
Gibson cited the testimony of an 
American gentleman, Mr. Curtis, 
to show that the chief thing sought 

182] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

In the repeal of the Corn-laws was 
not reduction of prices, but the 
means of exchange with other 
countries. He acquitted the sup- 
porters of the Corn-laws of sinister 
motives ; but it was an unfortunate 
coincidence that the peculiar inters 
ests in that House were so nearly 
allied with tKe preservation of those 
monopolies— ^they were told that 
the Com*>law8 produced permanent 
employment for a large portion of 
the population : but how stood the 
fact? The fact was> that the Corn- 
laws did not even afford the means 
of giving employment for the 
agricultural population. If they 
referred to the state of the popula- 
tion between 1821 and 1831, the 
ten years included in the last cen- 
sus, it would be found that while 
the population of the whole country 
had greatly increased, the number 
of persons engaged in agricultural 
pursuits had diminished to no less 
an extent than 17,000 families. 
This was a very remarkable fact, 
if they looked to the circumstance 
that the population of the whole 
country had greatly increased. It 
should also be recollected that the 
Poor-law Commissioners in their 
Reports stated that pauperism ex. 
isted in a much greater extent in 
the agricultural than in the manu- 
facturing districts. Even if it 
were found that the Corn-laws 
aiibrded ample employment for the 
agricultural portion oi the popula* 
tion of the country, what advantage 
could possibly arise in thus keeping 
in employment one class of the 
community by keeping another 
elass out of employment? No 
doubt gentlemen opposite were 
fully justified in discussing the 
question of want of confidence; 
but it was not respectful to the 
country to pasa over the question 
of the C««ii-]aw8^ which pxessed 

so heavily on its great intereats* 
From the general avoidanoe of the 
subject, however, it almost aeened 
as if that silence had been phnned 
and arranged at the great diviB, 
which,according to the newspapen, 
assembled at Sir Robert Pad's 
house on the previous Sunday* 

Mr. Borthwick contended that 
the present question was aubataii- 
tiaUy one of confidenoe in the 
Ministry: at the proper tiasehe 
undertook to show chat tho oziatiiig 
distress had no connexion with the 
Com-lawa. The question befbie 
the House was not whether tbsgr 
should discuss the Coni-kif8» btt 
how they were to arrive at n dis- 
cusuon. The ^preaent Miniatiy 
were obstacles to it> and they must 
be removed before the sulQect eoiill 
be fairly dealt with. The dirtresi 
was owing to thehr coadopt, kk 
negleoting practieal matiara iriiib 
they were wrapped up in thefncti- 
cal abstractions. Lode at ^fua 
and Portugal, whoe they hadkat 
a market for manufactures cC 
14,000,000/. sterling, the amount 
which those oountriuoBused fimaei^ 
to take; while now they barely 
take enough to cover tne paj of 
the miserable legion* Mr. Borth- 
wick promised for Sir Robert Pod 
that he would govern Irdaad with 
even-handed justice;! and withont 
mixing up theological and pditiml 

Mr. Smith O'Bxien snpportcd 
the goierd policy of the Goifam- 

Cdond Sibthoij> made a hu- 
morous speech against tho liinia- 
tiy , e^)eaallj wita rdmnea to the 
appointment of Sir John CttnplND 
to the ChanceUoediin of IrelMid. 

Mr. B« Eacolt fo^Wei on Om 
same side in a dismdve ffiaww 
tary on the xevarka of odspr 
spiers. Ho depeecM^.iib Boo* 



buek's imputing ^'sordid and mean" 
motives to the impugners of the 
Poor-law^ and his calling the agri- 
ooltunl interest *^ the starvers of 
the poor." He contrastedLord John 
RuMeirs daims to the confidence 
of the country with those of Sir 
Bohert Peel ; while the former 
talked of his r^rd for constitu- 
tumal principles, the latter showed 
liis rtgui for them rather hy his 
aots than by his professions. 

The Cbanodlor of the Exche- 
quer said, that if the Government 
li^ forfeited the confidence of the 
ooittntry because it had broken the 
e»iBgmen«i of Earl Grey's ad.. 
ministration, there were two gen- 
tlem^ opposite whom he should 
beg to pu^ into the criminal's box 
in oompany with the present 
Ministry: Lord Stanley and Sir 
James Crraham: they shared the 
bhine of the "little war" in 
Antwerp, and the war in Spain ; 
tbey ihared also in Parliamentary 
Befiorm, and even in the prelimi- 
nary stqps of Municipal Reform. 

tfr. Baring defended Govern- 
aa^t from the easily-uttered charge 
of profligate expenditure. He 

rted a return to show, that in 
five years preceding 1830 the 
average yearly expenditure was 
54,999,0001., while the average 
expenditure of Lord Melbourne's 
Cjovemment, since their accession to 
office in 1835, was 52448,000/. : a 
.decrease of 2,450,000/. Or, taking 
the three years of the Duke of Wel- 
lington's Government, which exhi- 
Uted an average of 53,462,000/., 
the decrease appeared to be 
ItB 13,000/. ; ur comparing the 
Duke of Wellington's average 
with the very expensive year just 
past, the decrease was 18,000/. 
When the Whigs came into office 
in 1851, the whole public debt 
wa» 888,549,000/.; ia 1831, in* 

eluding the 20,000,000/. of West- 
Indian compensation, there was a 
decrease of a million ; or excluding 
it, the debt was 815,597,000/. 
He went on to explain that the 
use of the Savings Banks funds 
caused no insecurity : the depo- 
sitors had the same guarantees as 
the holders of the public stocks. He 
justified the policy of Government 
in getting rid of the cumbersome 
and delusive sinking-fund, by the 
increase which it had induced in 
the revenue ; in 1831, the revenue 
was 51,000,000/. and odd; in 
1839, it was 51,927,000/., though 
taxation had been taken off to the 
extent of six millions. 

Mr. Goulbum combated these 
statements and inferences. By 
taking the average of the expen. 
diture in the five years ending 
with the Duke of Wellington's 
Administration, a delusion was 
practised : for that expenditure in 
the first year was at a very high 
amount, and it was continually 
decreasing: the proper point of 
comparison, therefore, would have 
been the last year under the 
Duke. The extravagance charge* 
able against the Ministers was not 
that they spent so much, but that 
they did not apportion their ex-* 
penditure to their income. But 
Mr. Baring's financial sagacity 
exceeded anything on record : he 
said that the Govern -nent had re- 
duced the debt by 13,000,000/. in 
ten years. Mr. Goulbum ex- 
plained this fallacy. At the time 
when he was Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, he brought into Par- 
liament an act which gave the 
power to the Commissioners for 
the National Debt to cancel por.. 
tions of the debt on granting to 
the parties annuities for terms of 
years. The effect of this was to 
create a sinking-fund, which Aim* 

184] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

nished the amount of the capital 
of the debt^ but increased the 
annual charge to which the coun. 
try was subjected. Suppose that 
these annuities were granted for 
twelve years, they were worth 
twelve years' purchase from the 
commencement only ; but the 
right honourable Gentleman va- 
lued these annuities still at twelve 
years' purchase. Mr. Goulbum, 
having an additional charge to pro- 
vide for^ took care so to regulate 
his financial income as to meet it. 
At the end of ten years they had 
two years still to run, and were in 
reality worth two years' purchase 
instead of twelve ; and what did 
the right honourable Gentleman 
do ? Why, he conveniently took 
the difference as a material deduc- 
tion from the national burdens! 
Mr. Goulbum expressed his satis- 
faction that Mr. Baring had dis- 
abused the public mind as to any 
insecurity in the Savings Banks: 
but be objected to Mr. Baring's 
conduct in that matter. The 
Savings Banks had the power of 
vesting the monies received by 
them in any security which they 
might think most eligible, and 
morever, if they invested them 
in Exchequer-bills, of ransoming 
them, and requiring the Govern- 
ment to furnish them with new 
stock, which must be added to the 
principal of the Funded Debt of 
the country. This power was 
given with a view to meet the 
cases of Exchequer-bills which 
from time to time it became neces- 
sary to fund, but not to enable a 
Government artificially to provide 
a temporary revenue without the 
knowledge of Parliament. Yet 
this was the course to which the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer had 
resorted ; and the money thus ob« 
tained from the Savings Banks 

was applied to the current' ex- 
penses of the year. 

Mr. Wakley ridiculed the way 
in which the public accounts were 
kept, so that one gentleman could 
prove a gain and anpther a loss at 
the same time. He then argued 
at considerable length to Show 
that the Ministers were entitled 
to a hearing of their measures id 
the new Parliament, whidi Sir 
Robert Peel claimed and obtained 
to its fullest extent in 1835» 
though beaten from the first in 
division after division. By doing 
otherwise now— -by setting tne 
royal Speech at nought — the ma- 
jority were acting to the injury of 
monarchical institutions. However, 
Sir Robert Peel should have no 
factious opposition from him. If 
Sir Robert Peel avoided bed ad- 
vice, he might do incakukAb 
benefit ; but if he went on in tiie 
old Tory track, he would nose iq> 
a great national party to oppose 
him. Mr. Wakley reconraieMed 
a revision of the Currency Bill of 
1819 : a debt had been contracted 
in paper which the nation wss 
now called on to pay in goli. 
But if Sir Robert Peel shouU 
come into office, who were to be 
his colleagues? Did be agcee 
with Sir James Graham about 
currency? or with Lord Stanley 
about Ireland ? Mr. Wakley ad« 
vised Sir Robert Peel to administer 
soothing medicine to Ireland | and 
commended the Poor-law to his 
serious attention. 

After this speech die debate was 
again adjourned. 

It was resumed on tbefoUowiog 
night by Mr. Villiers. He attri- 
buted the silence of the Consent- 
ative party on the topic of the Com*^ 
laws, to an apprenenaion enter- 
tained by them, that at thb critical 
moment the open profealoa of 



their opinions might disgust the 
country. He believed their ma- 
jority was owing to one section of 
the popular party, to the Chartists 
and the paupers^ who wished to 
make them the instruments of 
chastising the other section. He 
helieved with Mr. Roebuck, that 
the Ministers had lost their power 
chiefly by having failed to fulfil 
their promises to the popular party^ 
though he thought that too much 
had been made of Lord John Rus- 
sell's unguarded expression about 
finality. However, that noble 
Lord had gone far to redeem him- 
self by his eonduct upon the new 
measures of finance. The oppo- 
rite party were coming in upon 
the groubd of resistance to the 
principles of commercial freedom, 
and to such a party he could not 
give hk support. He then read, 
from statements produced at the 
Mandbester Conference, some de- 
tails, fihowing an increase of mor- 
talil^ in certain manufacturing 
districts, which he ascribed to the 
waat of food. Whenever the 
pcfoe of provisions rose, wages re- 
inining the same, the labourer 
had less to spend in those coarser 
manufactures which they usually 
consumed, and by the consequent 
discontinuance of orders for goods, 
the manufacturing operatives were 
thrown out of employ. He then 
controverted the opinions expressed 
by Lord Stanley on the subject of 
protection to agriculture, in a 
speech lately addressed by him to 
Us constituents in Lancashire, and 
professed his own inability to un- 
derstand, why it should be better 
for a country to encourage a popu- 
lation dependant on landlords than 
on manufacturers. Hebelievedthat 
the opinions he now supported had 
pined ground in the country, and 
ffir HoEert Peel, who possessed 

great moral influence over his 
party, would be under a propor- 
tionate responsibility for the course 
which should be taken on this im- 
portant subject. 

Lord F. Egerton bore a general 
testimony to the distresses of the 
manufacturing population, but he 
apprehended that on tbe question 
of the remedy there was hardly 
less difference between the Minis- 
ters and the Conservatives, than 
between the Ministers and the 
whole-length abolitionists who sup- 
ported them. The Chancellor of 
the Exchequer had complained 
that no explanations were given in 
this debate of the future policy of 
the Conservative party, that they 
were performing the play of Ham- 
let with that character omitted. 
But, for his own part, he did not 
wish the play got up at all till 
there should be a new company of 
performers. He then, in a grace- 
ful allusion to Lord Morpeth, to 
whose defeat in Yorkshire he ap- 
plied the lines, 

** Nee te tua plurima, Fantheu, 
Labentem pietas, nee ApoUinis infulai 

^inferred the people's disapproval 
of the Whig Government, since 
neither private character, nor pub- 
lic worth and talent could compen- 
sate in their eyes for the one defect 
of belonging to that Ministry. 

Mr. 0*Connell said, he stood 
there the representative of two 
of the largest agricultural counties 
of Ireland, containing more than a 
million of people, who had returned 
him with full knowledge of his 
opinions on the Corn-laws. The 
landlords supported those laws, so 
unjust to the operatives, for the 
purpose of increasing their owh 
rents, and then affected a sym- 
pathy with the people. He would 

186] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

only agree even to the Ss, duty, 
38 an instalment^ till he could get 
rid of all protection whatever. 
The present law was douhly ini- 
quitous, as it raised prices, and at 
die same time diminished the vent 
for manufactures. He was weary 
of experiments on the poor. He 
had heard of a man who com- 

glained that nothing would fatten 
is horse^ though he had tried 
tohaccoy and twenty other things. 
A friend asked him, " Did you 
ever try oatsV He wished the 
legislature would try the people 
with bread. He then expatiated 
upon the benefits which, he said, 
the present Ministry had conferred 
on the nation, in the mitigation 
of the criminal law ; in the dimi- 
nution of the stamp duties on 
5 periodical publications ; in the 
owering of the postage; in the 
reduction of one-fourth of the 
tithes — a step, he hoped, towards 
tlieir total abolition; in the destruc- 
tion of rotten-boroughs and self- 
elected corporations ; in the eman- 
cipation of 100,000 slaves ; in the 
improved and conciliatory adminis- 
tration of Ireland. What had the 
Tories done for a liberty-loving 
people } They had been the uni- 
form opponents of civil and reli- 
gious freedom ; they had been the 
especial foes of Irish rights. Eng- 
land boasted her resistance to 
Charles the 1st and James the 
2nd; but the Tory party were 
the supporters of both. They had 
not^ jiowever, yet got the crown 
into their cust-ody — they, the in- 
ventors of so many disloyalties 
against their queen — a party, the 
curse c^ mankind. Never were 
there such grots briberies as at the 
recent elections. Much of their 
success the Tories owed to their 
hatred of Ireland, and much to 
the sordid selfishness by which 

the fanners had been pemnded 
that their interests were knit up 
with those of their landlovda. Ik 
inveighed against Oramom la 
Ireland, and complainea of the 
insignificant proportion of Iriih 
voters to Irish population. If 
the new Minister should ezerase 
his patronage fairly, he would lose 
his Orange supporters ; if unfinrlj, 
he would, if not lose Ireland, de- 
serve to lose her. But his power 
might not be of long enduianea. 
Power was in its nature unpo* 
pular; and the millioas without 
the frandiise would make 
selves felt. Never did party 
into power under areater diHiiflwl- 
ties; man's infirmity waa Opd** 
opportunity, and justice to belaad 
would at length be compdled. 

The two most interest!] 
delivered in this long debate 
those with which it conrludedj the 
speeches of Sir Robert Peel and 
Lord John Russell ) the fonnap, 
now standing on the threahoU of 
office, the ktter^ addressing the 
House, in his last words as a 
Minister of the Crown. Hie alt 
lity of these orations, and the neat 
importance of the statements musk 
they contained, the one as the pni- 
gramme of the future Govern- 
ment, the other as the ▼indicatian 
of that which had for so loi^ 
directed the councils of the natmit 
demand a more expanded view ef 
their contents than we have been 
able to afford to the aigunents ef 
the other speakers. 

Sir Robert Peel began by cqmh 
menting in terms of severe ie|HO- 
bation on the language usad bf 
the Member £ar DuUin. He ssid 
he would have felt more acutcbr 
the vituperation ctf Mr. O'Connslt 
if those very men, whom he de- 
scribed as having done so mndi 
good to Ireland, had not hesfi' 



loaded with it. If that party had 
acted 80 well to Ireland^ why did 
Mr. O'Gonnell come down to the 
Houteni^t after nighty and in- 
creaie their difficulties, denouncing 
their messures to the country by 
eYery.calumnious expression which 
an imagination fertile in calutnny 
could iovent? Sir Robert Peel 
aooD diamiased this topic ; regret- 
ting that he had been provoked to 
the use of irritating expressions, 
as he deaired to discuss the great 
queition before the House in a 
tamper worthy of the occasion. 
For ten years he had conducted an 
onpoeitioii to Government and 
lutiaiately expressed his direct 
condemnation of it, with the ab- 
senoe of efery expression of acri- 
monioiia or personal hostility. Now 
that that/Opposition was likely to 
be attenited with success, it was 
nat the time to be betrayed into a 
4iffiarei|t tone. Sir Robert Peel 
oontemplated the difficulties which 
the aspect of public affairs pre- 
aentelj with no unmanly shrink- 
ingt/but with a sense of the awful 
resyoDaibility whidi public office 
in^ves- Briefly noticing some 
paints in the earlier portion of the 
speech^ he r^oiced in the cessation 
rf the estrangement from France. 
fle hoped the reconciliation ^^ould 
be mote than nominal. He had 
read with the utmost satisfaction 
M» Guisoi's frank declaration, re- 
cently made <^ the pleasure he felt 
at the good understanding between 
France and the powers of Europe. 
What^ indeed, was the first in- 
terest to which it behoved Eu- 
ropean powers to attend ? 

'^Is not the time come when 
the powerftd countries of Europe 
ahoold reduce those militaiy ar- 
maments which they have so sedu- 
laodj raised? Is not the time 
when they should he pie- 

pared to declare that there is no 
use in such overgrown establish- 
ments ? What is the advantage 
of one power greatly increasing 
its army or navy ? Does it not 
see, that if it proposes such in- 
crease for self-protection and de- 
fence, the other powers would 
follow its example ? The conse. 
quence of this state of things must 
be, that no increase of relative 
strength will accrue to any one 
power, but there must be a uni. 
versal consumption of the resources 
of every country in military pre- 
parations. They are in iBeict depriv. 
ing peace of half its advantages^ 
and anticipating the energies of war 
whenever they may be required* 
I do not mean to advocate any 
romantic notion of each nation 
trusting with security the pro- 
fessions of its neighbour ; but if 
each country were to commune 
with itself, and ask, ' What is at 
present the danger of foreign in- 
vasion, compared to the danger of 
producing dissatisfaction and dis- 
content, and curtailing the com- 
forts of the people by undoe 
taxation?' the answer must be 
this, that the danger of aggression 
is infinitely less than the danger 
of those suffisrings to which the 
present exorbitant expenditure 
must give rise. The interest of 
Europe is not that any one country 
should exercise a peculiar influ- 
ence, but the true interest of 
Europe is to come to some one 
common accord, so as to enable 
every country to reduce those 
military armaments which belong 
to a state of war rather than of 
peace. I do wish that the councils 
of every country (or that the pub- 
lic voice and mind, if the councils 
did not) would willingly propagate 
such a doctrine.'' 
Nothing could he more 

188] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

founded than the belief which Sir 
Robert Peel considered to be too 
popular in France, that the old 
feeling of national hostility still 
prevailed in this country. There 
was no other wish but that France 
should consolidate the free insti- 
tutions by which she is governed^ 
and advance in science, in the arts, 
and in commerce. He hoped that 
the time had gone by when public 
men could be influenced by the impu- 
tation that they were afraid of war. 

** You can't conduct war as 
Bonaparte did : no power in Eu- 
rope can do it : you can't make the 
country you conquer bear the price 
of the conquest. The thing is 
impossible. With states, as with 
in£viduals, tha( most unpleasant 
day the day of reckoning comes 
round ; and when, in their sober 
moments, men calculate the rela- 
tive advantages of immense arma- 
ments, and the illusions of militarv 
glory, with the cost of the taxes 
to pay for such exploits, they come 
to take a calmer and more discreet 
view of the comparative advan- 
tages than they could be expected 
to do in the moment of excitement. 
The e^roression of these sentiments 
is perfectly consistent with an 
earnest determination, if occasion 
should require it, to risk anything 
that the honour and interests of 
the country may require." 

Sir Robert Peel regretted the 
omission of all mention of the 
United States in the Speech, 
because it seemed to show that 
there was nothing agreeable to 
say ; and though he did not press 
fbran answer to Mr. Roebuck'sques- 
tions, (concerning Mr. M' Leod's 
affair) he could not regard Vis- 
count Palmerston's explanation ei- 
ther as full or satisfactory. He 
then passed to the questions imme« 
diateiy connected with the amend- 

ment. He adhered to his de- 
termination, not prematurely to 
develppe his plans for lemedjring 
the financial embarrassments of the 
country: a determination whidi 
had been sanctioned by the hiB 
elections. He protested^ howefer» 
against the assumption that he 
was adverse to the removal of 
restrictions on commerce, or hostile 
to the principles of Free-tnde, 
because tie opposed the individual 
measures of the Government ; he 
protested against the principles of 
Free-trade being tried by aay mdi 
test. He had proved bis atudn 
ment to those principles soctiiy 
as 1825, when he was entratod 
with the preparation of the Speech 
from the throne, which leoom- 
mended the removal of restiictiam 
on commerce — further, csnying 
out the policy of Mr. Hnddami. 
He had supported Mr. Laboodien^s 
measure to prevent the neoBHty 
of carrying cofi*ee round by the 
Cape of Good Hope i another fer 
regulating the duties on East and 
West Indian produce ; and he lad. 
not made any formidable objectisn 
to another for the free importadDa 
of provisions and lumber into As 
West Indies. No rational objes* 
tion could be urged to the removal 
of duties, trifling in amount, but 
vexatious to commerce. He could 
not acquiesce in the terms of the 
Address, however, because it was 
so framed as to solicit an omnioaia 
favour of the three particiilar mea* 
sures of theBudget,aiid acquiescence 
might be construed into a p p r o val of 
the details of those measures. Sir 
Robert Peel then repeated seteral 
objections which had been urged 
against the proposed change in the 
Timber and Sumr-duties. Ade. 
spatch of Lord John RosselTs had 
just been published in which he 
promised to send IWflOOL a jear 



for ihe fortification of Oanada. 
Sir Robert Peel did not say it was 
improper to do so ; but if it were 
right, then it indicated a state of 
pubUc feeling which justified his 
negitation in increasing the em- 
barrassments of the Canadian go- 
▼(^mments which Lord Sydenham 
Mod the alteration of the Timber- 
duties would do. Then with 
respect to the Sugar-duties ; it had 
be^ said^ that he meant to confirm 
himself in power by proposing 
measures such as those which he 
had opposed ; he contemplated no 
such thing. Seeing that they had 
intended to admit the sugar of 
Cuba and Brazil at a differential 
duty of 12/.,— that they had made 
no stipulation with those countries 
in respect to slavery ; that the pro. 
mised increased supply from the 
East an4 West Indies had given 
aflBUjanee of a reduction in the 
price^ he thought the proposed 
change impolitic. Mr. Labouchere 
had |uote^ details to show that 
the ysupply had decreased ; but 
why had he omitted the last three 
moiths in the calculation ? The 
pijoe of sugar in September 1840, 
UBS 5Ss. Ad, ; in January last, 
90s, lOd, i then^ it was 38^. 2c?. At 
ihe same time, the consumption 
had increased; during the three 
months ending the 5th of Augusts 
1840, the consumption of British 
Plantation and Mauritius Sugar 
was 937,000 cwt. ; in the same 
period this year, it was 992,000 
cwt. Sir Robert Peel now came 
to the Corn-laws; and in order 
that there might be no mistake, 
he referred to the language which 
he had used before the dissolution : 
*' I said that, on consideration, 
I had formed an opinion, which 
intervening consideration has not 
induced me to alter, that the prin- 
ciple of a graduated scale was 

preferable to that of a fixed and 
irrevocable duty : but I said then, 
and I say now — and in doing so I 
repeat the language which fheld 
in 1839 — that I will not bind 
myself to the details of the exist- 
ing law, but will reserve to myself 
the unfettered discretion of consi- 
dering and amending that law. I 
hold the same language now : but 
if you ask me whether I bind 
myself to the maintenance of the 
existing law in its details, or if you 
say that that is the condition on 
which the agricultural interest 
give me their support, I say that 
on that <x)ndition I will not accept 
their support." 

Would any man of common 
sense debar himself from amend- 
ing the mode of taking the ave. 
rages ? He had been taunted for 
not declaring his plans; but had 
he explained in May what could 
not possibly be carried into efiect 
before October, his opponents 
throughout the country would 
have been engaged in condemning 
his plan ; and had he deviated 
from it in the smallest degree^ 
they would have reproached him 
with the difference between his 
promise and his performance. As 
a proof that the Ministers felt 
that they ought not to have asked 
for his plan, he pointed to their 
having allowed him a year to con. 
sider what he would do with the 
Poor-law. " But,'* it was said, 
*' Tell us what your pivot will 
be?" "Suppose I had done so, 
and proceeded afterwards to form 
a Government I must, I presume, 
have informed her Majesty that 
the great principle of the Govern- 
ment was involved in an adherence 
to my pivot. I was to go to each 
colleague to ask him to assent to 
belong to the new Government; 
but I was to tell him, * There is 

100] ANNUAL RBGISTEE, 1841. 

one irrevocable principle to which 
you must subscribe-^ not merely 
an alteration of the Corn-laws-— 
not a preference of the graduated 
scale over a fixed duty — but this 
precise and particular mode of 
taking the averages, and this par* 
ticular pivot and price, are finally 
determined upon, and from that 
you cannot depart, because I have 
publicly pledged myself to it: I 
leave a blank for the name.' Can 
any reasonable man gravely say 
that was the course I ought to 
have pursued?*' 

And what was the question be- 
tween him and the Government ? 
Both started from the principle of 
protection ; but the arguments 
against the slidins-duty, as a tax 
upon the income of the poor maui 
were equally applicable to the 8^. 
fixed duty. And what would be 
the satisfaction of an Intermediate 
settlement of the Corn-law ques* 
tion? He doubted, to borrow 
Lord John KusselPs phrase, the 
finality of such a settlement. If 
a bad harvest were to take placet 
would they rigorously exact the 
&• fixed duty in September or 
October. (An hon. Member said 
''Yes.p *'You would I Then 
I publicly notify to the country, 
upon the authority of a great 
manufacturer and a stern free- 
trader, that be corn at the price 
of 80«., or 90^. or 100^., his rigid 
adherence to the principles and 
doctrines of free-trade will compel 
him to exact the duty of 8^. ! No 
matter what may be the distress 
that prevails—no matter what may 
be the extent of privation — no 
matter what the amount of suf* 
fering, yet still the 8^. duty 
must be exacted -^ there is no 
power to remit it. [^Repeated 
cheers,'! In vain would it be to 
show that under the existing scale 

it would have beed iidtiiilttd at 

But notwithstanditig all that 
parade of principle, in paini of 
fact the duty could not be mnn- 
tained under such circunutanon. 
He had great doubtSf toop whe- 
ther the fixed duty would enm 
the expected fixity in pioet in 
those countries where there was 
no Corn-law in opemtion» liie 
price fluctuated. I^edie the State 
of New York as an example t 

*' In November, 1834f the firice 
of the Winchester quarter of eiAt 
bushels was 3di. 4^ ; in OctcSer 
1836> it was 54«. ; in Jvtkvmtj 
1837> it was 685. ; in Julie 1839, 
it was 67 s» 4d, i bnd iii Octoto 
1889— mark, in the saiaejeu^— 
it was 89#. 6i/. Thus, in the State 
of New York alone, in the cduitt 
of six monthsi the price of oom 
varied from 67«. 4il. 10 3fo. 9i> 
Whence arose that fluctuatioil? 
how was it to be afitounteA fiir« 
unless bv the nature of the inter- 
vening harvest producing lo n|H 
mense a variation } In Jttnuaiy'i* 
1887, when com was 63i. a \uu^ 
ter in New York, it wee onl|f 
55$. Qd. in England^ and in Oeto* 
her, when it was 64#. in Ne«# 
Yoxk, it was only 45«« 9d. berea** 

If he thought that the Repeal 
of the Corn-laws could be an 
effectual remedy for the diitren ef 
the manufacturing districtSt tht 
recital of which had caused him 
much pain, he should reeooinieiid 
it as essential to the welfare of 
the agriculturists themselvea; bat 
he could not come to that condu- 
sion. He took, he owned, but a 
gloomy view of the sutgect: he 
feared that legislation could not 
guard against the recurrence of 
such distress ; that some of it was 
due to the sudden invention and 
application of machinery. In the 



Rqmt of the Poor-law Commis- 
ncn» in 1885, Dr. Kay described 
m most extrioirdinary increase of 
mtnafacturing power in Lanca- 
•hire ; within two years^ mechani-i 
caI power equal to 7,500 horses 
w«l brought into play, and 90,000 
new faandsi with an outlay of 
8^700,000/. Hence an extraor- 
dinary aoeumulation of people on 
the ^^: then human ingenuity 
diiooTered some machinery to cur« 
Udl manual labour, and thousands 
mat thrown out of employment. 
That process^ coupled with the 
diecks giren. to trade by wars in 
Syrin and China, and disturbances 
ia Europe/ would account for 
much distiess without the Corn- 
laws* He then alluded sarcastic- 
•llj to Mr. Wakley's sentimental 
loyally, which would restrict the 
Hoaie o/ Commons from doing its 
Autj, If submitting its opinion to 
the Thione^ for fear of oontraven- 
ing tbui private wishes of the Sove- 
reign^ He recapitulated the op- 
potitibn by which he was turned 
Oat of office in 1635, maintaining 
thai his position was then quite 
diftrent from that of the Govern- 
mmt at present, since they had 
two years ago pronounced their 
^wn opinion that they had not 
sufficiently the confidence of the 
House for the satisfactory per- 
formance of their duties ; whereas 
he had only remained long enough 
to ascertain the decision of the 
House. He firmly believed that 
the Ministers* retention of office 
had weighed with the people at 
the late election: it compromised 
the prerogative of the Sovereign 
8o to retain power, because it ex- 
hibited the prerogative without its 
just influence; it also exhibited 
the House of Commons as wanting 
in its just influence, when it could 
thwart the measures and censure 

the acts, but could not decide the 
fate of a Ministry. The judgment 
of the people had been pronounced 
against that unconstitutional course* 
The result was to be expected'^^ 
the resignation of the present Go-^ 
vemment. '* It is not for me to 
speculate what may be the result 
of that; others have speculated 
upon it. I contemplate with calm- 
ness, without anxiety, nay with 
confidence, whatever may be the 
result. If power do not devolve 
upon me, I shall make no com- 
plaint. If power do devolve upon 
me, I shall accept it with the con- 
sciousness that I have gained it by 
direct and constitutional means» 
and that I owe it to the voice of the 
people of this country, and to the 
favour of the Sovereign^ I am 
told that in the exerdise of that 
power I must be the instrttment 
of maintaining opinions and feel** 
ings which I myself am disposed 
to repudiate. With my views of 
government— ^with my views of the 
obligations which it imposes, the 
duties which it entails^ the sacri«* 
fices it involves— 'I am little dis- 
posed to add to those sacrifices by 
accepting with it a degrading and 
dishonourable station. I am told 
that I must necessarily be the in- 
strument of effecting objects in Ire* 
land which I myself disapprove. I 
am asked whether I dare affront my 
associates and partisans. The hon . 
Member for Meath has alluded to 
the conduct of a public functionary 
in Ireland, who, he said, had 
offered an insult to the religious 
feelings of his fellow-countrymen 
by some public act of an offensive 
nature. I am not afraid of ex- 
pressing my opinion with reinject 
to acts like this ; and I say at 
once thai there is no man in this 
House— no Roman Catholic Mem- 
ber in this House-^who heard with 

192] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

deeper pain or deeper regret than 
I did, that a gratuitous, an un- 
provoked, and an unnecessary 
insult had been offered to the 
religious feeling of the people of 
Iremnd. If I cannot gain power 
or retain it except by encouraging 
and favouring such feelings, I say 
at once, that the day on which I 
relinquish power, rather than de- 
fer to such feelings, will be ten 
times a prouder one than the day 
on which I obtained it. If I do 
accept office, it shall be by no in- 
trigue, it shall be by no unworthy 
concession of constitutional prin- 
ciple ; it shall be by no unnatural 
and factious combinations with 
men (honest I believe them to be) 
entertaining extreme opinions, but 
from whom I dissent. If I accept 
office, it shall be by walking in 
the open light and in the direct 
paths of the constitution. If I 
exercise power, it shall be upon 
my conception — ^perhaps imperfect, 
perhaps mistaken, but my sincere 
conception—of public duty. That 
power I will not hold unless I can 
hold it consistently with the main- 
tenance of my own opinions ; and 
that power I will relinquish the 
moment I am satisfied that I am 
not supported in the maintenance 
of them by the confidence of this 
House and the people of this 

The conclusion of Sir Robert 
Peel's speech was marked by great 

Lord John Russell did not com- 
plain of the motion which had 
been made, for he thought- that 
the meeting of a new Parliament 
was the best opportunity for de- 
ciding the question involved in it ; 
but some adequate reasons ought 
to have been shown in support of 
it. When, heretofore, Ministers 
were directly attacked, it was on 

some defect in their genenol polkj : 
thus the American War waa urged 
against Lord North ; and a war 
with a formidable enemj, while 
the naval preparations of the conn- 
try were in an inadequate* staler 
was the ground for such a motioa 
against Mr. Addington. Bat de 
policy of the present Ministen had 
been successful. When Eail Gny 
pledged himself to peace^ of oomae 
it only meant that the Oofon- 
ment would act in the spirit sf 
peace; and that policy had heea 
maintained with success. " In re- 
gard to the first question to wUdi 
the honourable gentleman (Mr. 
Wortley) had alluded, the qoei- 
tion of Belgium, that is a queslioa 
which has been the niotiTe fir 
war and the source of distnrfaaiice 
to Europe from the days of Queen 
Elizabeth and William the Thad 
to the time of the French Revofai. 
tion, and down to the dose of Ae 
last war. That question had been 
by means of negotiations amicalify 
settled, partly by the GovemiaeBt 
of Earl Grey, but concluded by 
that of Viscount Melbourne. Thb 
other questions alluded to hy die 
honourable gentleman were Porta* 
gal and Spain, countries which 
had also been the cause of inTolr- 
ing Europe in trouble and in war. 
I am not here disposed to entir 
into any argument in r^ard td 
the policy pursued towanb those 
two countries^ but I say that in 
both instances it was a suooesi- 
ful policy. We were in fiivoor 
of pladne Donna Maria on the 
throne of Portugal : she was plaoed 
on the throne of Portugal. We 
were in favour of the present 
Queen of Spain and of a me con- 
stitution, against the pretensioiis 
of Don Carlos and Absolutism: 
the Queen is now on the throne, 
and the Constitution exists in 



SpaiiL We were of opinion that 
Mdieniet Ali could no longer re- 
tain Syria: the chief Powers of 
Europe concurred with us in this 
xenpecty and the result of our 
policy waSi that Mehemet Ali was 
deprived of Syria. In India at« 
tempts had heen made to shake 
our power^ and Dost Mahomed had 
been put forward as an instru- 
ment by wUdi the safety of our 
poaseMJons in that quarter were 
threatened: hostilities were under- 
taiken,and Doit Mahomed is now at 
Calcutta, seeking refuge under the 
shelter of theBritish C^vemment" 

Of other transactions still in 
operation, /he result^ of course, 
eoold not }e known. The Navy, 
the ineffiii^ncy of which had once 
been a ctarge against the Minis- 
ters, ba^ disproved the charge on 
the ooiMt of Syria. Lord John 
Rossel^then reviewed the conduct 
of iGoiemment in the Colonial de- 
partment. In Canada, represent- 
ative institutions accorded to the 
disalbcted French, had created 
bidi^rings, and finally rebellion. 
Tbt was successfully suppressed, 
racier by the energy of the Gover- 
»r-general than by his cannon; 
tte Whig Government had re- 
tored free institutions, and the 
Colony was well affected towards 
the Mother-country. At home, 
even in Ireland, there was loyalty, 
tranquillity, and obedience to the 
laws. It had not been shown that 
any great interest had suffered at 
the hands of the Government. 
He then recapitulated the events 
connected with the Appropriation 
Clause. It was twice defeated in 
the House of Lords. The Minis- 
ters might then either have gone 
on proposing the Clause and being 
defeated, or taken the course they 
did. Mr. QConnell said, that the 
Clause had ceased to excite much 


interest in Ireland-— so small a con- 
cession could only be valuable if 
carried soon after it was proposed 
in Parliament. Under these cir- 
cumstances, the Ministers chose 
what seemed to them best for 
Ireland* That, however, did not 
remove the great difference be- 
tween the Government and their 
opponents. Nothing had since 
occurred to show that Sir Robert 
Peel would be able to avoid 
placing the Government of Ire- 
land in the hands of an exasperated 
minority. The language used by 
his supporters, in speaking of the 
majority of the Irish people and 
their clerey, showed the feeling 
which still prevailed: in that very 
debate an honourable Member had 
been unable to help calling the 
crowd assembled before a hustings 
by any other name than " savages." 

Mr. Roebuck had assailed the 
Ministers for different reasons ; he 
said, that if they had gone on with 
Reform they would have retained 
the support of the country. 

** We have opinions with regard 
to the consequences of another 
course; and we had our opinion 
with regard to the Reform Bill, 
and the danger of constant and 
perpetual changes, which led us 
to resist the changes proposed to 
us. If I were to tell the honour, 
able Member for Bath, should he 
profess violent Conservative opi- 
nions and give declaration against 
the Poor-law Bill and other decla- 
rations, like honourable gentlemen 
opposite, he would rise to -a high 
station in the country, he would 
say, in reply, that such con- 
duct was contrary to his opi- 
nion and that he could not con- 
sistently support such measures. 
We teU him the same thing; and 
when he tells us, 'Consider the 
course you took after the Reform 


194] ANNUAL RE6IST£R, 1841. 

Bill : you \(mt the confidenoe of 
the Liberals^ and did not gain the 

rod opinion of the Conservatives/ 
can say to him that we eon*- 
ddered the consequences as well as 
he did: we knew we could not 
expect to conciliate the Conserva* 
tive party to the policy of the 
present Government i but it was 
the opinion of the Government 
that we could not> with our views, 
consistently and honestly support 
the plans which were proposed; 
and if any honourable gentleman 
says that if we had taken such and 
such steps, and had adopted such 
plans, we could have remained in 
office, and if our principles were 
opposed to such changes, I say 
' Welcome the consequences/ " 

Lord John Russell ridiculed Sir 
Robert Peel's exclusive reserve and 
apprehension about his intentions 
as to the Corn*laws. 

'^Now I am at some loss to 
conceive why the right honourable 
gentleman, taking every other 
matter into consideration-— leaving 
himself at large with respect to 
almost every other matter— should 
be so determinedly wedded to this. 
He will not say to his Sovereign 
that he will adhere to the pivot ; 
but the address which he would 
make to his Sovereign or to this 
House would be this— ^ To be sure» 
I formerly stated, with regard to 
the Roman Catholics, that their 
admission to power would be the 
destruction of the Church and the 
ruin of the Constitution ; but they 
have been admitted, and the con- 
stitution goes on perfectly well. 
As to Reform in Parliament, it 
was to be entirely destructive to 
the Monarchy and subversive of 
the interests of the Aristocracy : 
but it was passed, and still the 
constitution, somehow or other, 
flourishes under this plan^ and 

none of those inilitutioiiB wUck 
were so threatened have tuflknd 
in the smallest degree ; andiblaH 
satisfied with the meamfte of B^ 
form, and I mean to make it die 
guide of my futuktt Gondnct nd 
the foundation of my fiiture pi»- 
ceedings. The admiaafen of Ae 
Roman Catholics into nurlkNMBt 
-—the admission of Diisenters into 
offices*— entire rdigbus libeitr-^ 
the change of thd ookiMittltkMi of 
Parliament — the destfOttlidii af 
fifty or sixty borough, and ike 
admission of numeMui riTaf to 
the exercise of the ftftnehiBe^^ae 
trifling matters, on wMdi a chmue 
of opinion may take place ; but & 
sliding-Bcale is a principle whidi I 
never can or will give up : it ia aa 
necessary, that eome what auqf^ 
be the change in the Cofn-kw 
what it may, the maintainhginviiH 
late the principle of the iidfaig» 
scale is the great matter towUok 
I shall devote my attention.* * 

Lord John Runelli liov«f«| 
was convinced that Uie ilHiM* 
scale was the root of all the ML 
Lord Ripon, in defending iha 
Com*laws, had shown feha^ ki 
1834-5-6, the duty watf 47t. ; nii 
ther more nor less than a jmi 
hibitory duty; in 1887| the dato 
was U, 7(L, and then l,719,0M 
quarters of wheat were adndtta^ 
1,740 times as much as in 1885^ 
It was impossible that thefe oonld 
be any steadiness of trade undac 
such circumstances. He then qniH 
ted returns, to show kow the 
averages were tampered with by 
corn-jobbers with a alidlngHKale* 
He admitted his belief, that the 
Ss. duty could not be maintaiaed 
in a time of scarcity; but theni 
with a fixed duty, and the ooa- 
sequent regular tnide, there very 
seldom would be an actual Bcarcily. 
The present system was ao 



iially vickmi in its nature tbat it 
might to be abandoned, and we 
ought to go to a fixed duty of Ss, 
or any sukn that Parliament might 
determine. He did not so much 
expect lower prices as additional 
ieinployment for the people. He 
hlHl no reason to suppose that Sir 
Robert Feel would refuse to put 
in practice those principles of free- 
trade of which he was the declared 
Hd W)eate. ** I ahi surc^ if he does, it 
will be f^roin the want of inclina* 
tioti^ not from the want of power ; 
for, as for atiy imputation of his 
wanting any power to deal with 
the Coni-laurs^ as we proposed to 
deal with fkera, I think we may 
despise iu ' I know not what course 
be tilay lUrsue, but the full re- 
epobstlkU^remdns with him. The 
fight hoiiburBbl6 gentleman has no 
right td sikf, that he is shackled 
mik tht^arted by party •'trammels, 
becaua^it appears that the party 
to wUth he belongs could not 
xedstiiberal measures, if he were 
to oppose them." 

{ii^ John Russell, however, 

fatfered that there were various 
rrkions among the narty to which 
Sir Robert Peel belonged; their 
ogans of the press used the most 
o^tradictory language, and similar 
^repancies were observed in the 
ipeeches at the elections. Mr. 
Stoart Wortley said, that one ob- 
ject of his party was to repeal the 
Poor-law; one of the many in- 
•tttnces of a total difference of Ian- 
guage between the leaders and 
followers. The Whigs, however, 
had the exclusive credit of harsh- 
ness in this matter. Other mis- 
representations had been Used — 
they were said to be the enemies 
of the Chutch. He thus answered 
the charge : 

*' We nave carried a Tithe-law, 
hf whieh the property of the 

Church is made more secure ; by 
which the clergyman obtains a 
larger income without quarrel or 
dispute with his parishioners. We 
have also passed another law regu- 
lating the incomes of the hi^er 
clergy. And what have we done ? 
— reduced the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury to the miserable pittance 
of 15,000Z. a year; cut down the 
Bishop of London to no more than 
10,000^, a year; the Bishop of 
Durham receives a wretched sti- 
pend of 8,000/. a year! These 
two Bills were our propositions i 
and, on the other hand, when a 
proposition was made that really 
attacked the Church, we incurred 
the enmity of the Dissenters for 
opposing it." 

He hoped that the party next 
in power would not sufier by simi- 
lar misrepresentations : and he 
finished his last Ministerial speech 
in these words : 

*^ In conclusion, I am convinced 
that if this country is governed by 
enlarged and liberal councils, that 
its power and might will spread 
and increase, and its influence will 
become greater and greater, and 
liberal principles will prevail, and 
civilization will be spread to all 
parts of the globe, and you will 
bless millions by your acts and 
mankind by your union.** {Loud 
and continued cheering,) 

A division then took place, and 
the result was as follows : 

For the Ministerial Address 
Amendment . . • 
Majority against the Go- 
vernment .... 



When the House of Commons 
met for the purpose of recieiving 
the Report on the Amended 
Address, Mr. Sharman Crawford 
proposed another amendment, of 
which he had givfen notice, pur- 

[0 23 

196J ANNtAL REGISTER, 1841. 

porting that the distress deplored 
in the Speech Was mainly at- 
trihutahle to the non-representa- 
tion of the people in Parliament^ 
and that the House would feel it 
their duty to consider the means 
of so extending and regulating the 
suffrage and the mode of its ex- 
ercise, as to give to the working- 
classes their just weight in legis- 
lation. '* He did not/' he said, 
*' desire universal suffrage, hut a 
suffrage which would give a fair 
representation. From the want of 
this arose unjust wars, unjust 
legislation, unjust monopoly, of 
which the present Corn-laws were 
the most grievous instance. There 
was no danger in confiding the 
suffrage to the working-classes, 
who had a vital interest in the 
puhlic prosperity, and had evinced 
the truest zeal for freedom." He 
brought forward this motion as a 
test of the liberal feelings of the 
House ; it would show who were 
the friends of the people and who 
were not. 

General Johnson seconded the 

Mr. Ward declined to support 
an amendment on so important a 
subject, brought forward at a mo- 
ment when virtually there was no 
Ministry in existence, and with- 
out any sufficient notice or consul- 
tation. It was an insult to the 
people so to deal with their cause, 
and a vote under such circum- 
stances would be no test of the 
strength of the Radical party. 
Sir Robert Peel was now the 
representative of the majority of 
the constituencies, and his mea- 
sures ought to be heard before any 
steps of this nature should lie 
taken. He should therefore re- 
tire before the division. 

Mr. Roebuck expressed his in- 
tention to follow the same cours?. 

Sir Robert Peel ought to be tried » 
though it was to be feared he would 
be found wanting. This was not 
a question to be brought on by a 
side-wind at the end of a tedious 

Mr. Wallace, amid the cheers 
occasioned by the exit of these 
Members, assured the gentlemen 
opposite that what had just hap- 
pened was not to be tdcen as a 
symptom of any 'division in the 
Radical party. They would be 
found an united body when tbe 
time for action should arrive* 

Mr. T. Duncomle inveig^ied 
against those foes in the guise of 
friends, who had just dedared thdr 
intention of leavins the Refonners 
in the lurch. He justified the 
motion of Mr. Crawford^ and said 
Sir Robert Peel would loou fiend 
that there would be no repose till 
an extension of the franchite should 
be carried. 

Dr. Bowring and Mr. W, Wil. 
Hams said they would support the 
motion. Mr. Protheroe an4 Mr. 
Turner thought its introduction 
unseasonable. Col. Rawdon ani, 
that as a statement of grievvBoes 
might constitutionally precede a 
vote of supply, so it might fiUy 
precede a change of Administia- 

The House then divided on Mi 
S. Crawford's motion, which wai 
- negatived by 283 against 39. 

At the next meeting of the 
House, Lord Marcus Hillappeaied 
at the bar, and read the following 
answer to the Address — 

" It is the greatest satisfaction 
to me to find that the House of 
Commons are deeply sensiUe of 
the importance of those connders- 
tions to which I directed their at- 
tention in reference to the com- 
merce and revenue of the country, 
and the laws which regulate the 



trade in corn; and that, in de- 
ciding on the course which it may 
be deriraUe to pursue, it will he 
their earnest desire to consult the 
wel&re of all classes of my subjects. 

^' Ever anxious to listen to the 
advice of my Padliament^ I will 
take immediate measures for the 
fimnation of a new Administra- 

The division on Mr. S. Wort- 
ley's amendment had so unequivo- 
cdly declared tie sense of the new 
House of Commons upon the con- 
tinuance of thf Whig Grovernment, 
that no other pourse now remained 
open to then but immediate re- 
tirement froin office. Accordingly^ 
on the 20\i. of August, Viscount 
Melbourne in the House of Lords, 
rose and sioke as follows :— 

"My ^ords, I consider it my 
duty to Acquaint your Lordships, 
that in ybonsequence of the vote 
which ^as come to by the other 
House of Parliament on Saturday 
momilg last, which was precisely 
aimiliir in terms to a vote come to 
by ytur Lordships at an earlier 
peri^ of the week, I have, on the 
partof my colleagues and myself, 
teoiered to her Majesty the resig- 
najion of the omees we hold; 
wch resignation her Majesty has 
ben graciously pleased to accept, 
}Dd we now continue to hold those 
offices only till our successors are 

Th; House received this an- 
nouncement iu perfect silence, and 
adjourned almost immediately af- 

On the same evening, in the 
House of Commons, Lord John 
Russell made a similar statement 
in nearly the same terms, but after- 
wards proceeded shortly to vindi- 
cate the course which had been 
recently pursued by the Govern- 
ment of which he was a member. 

He said, that it was the conviction 
of that Government, that their 
duty to the Sovereign whose confi- 
dence they enjoyed— their persua* 
sion of the necessity of the mea- 
sures which they advised— -and 
their belief that the people should 
be consulted on questions involv- 
ing their dearest interests ^ren- 
dered it incumbent on them to 
continue the struggle to the present 
moment. He would not say, that 
as long as they could use power, as 
they believed, for the benefit of the 
country, it was with reluctance 
they continued in office ; but this 
he would say, that he did not think 
the possession of power in this 
country could be accompanied by. 
satisfaction unless there were means 
of carrying into effect the measures 
which Ministers' felt essential to 
the welfare of the country. He 
did not allude then to particular 
measures of less or minor import- 
ance, but to measures of great and 
transcendent moment. *' With re- 
gard to such measures," said the 
noble Lord, *' we began, in the 
commencement of Lord Grey's 
Administration, with the Reform 
Act — we ended by proposing mea- 
sures for the freedom of commerce. 
With large and important measures 
we commenced — with large and 
important measures we conclude. 
In pursuance of great objects we 
triumphed — iu pursuance of great 
objects we have fallen." Lord J. 
Russell afterwards made a not un-^ 
graceful allusion to his own zeal 
and assiduity in the public ser- 
vice ; and, with regard to his future 
conduct, stated that he should be 
always ready to give such an opi- 
nion as he thought might tend to 
the permanent improvement of our 
institutions; never, as he had ob- 
served on another occasion^ de- 
fending abuses as if they were 

198] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

institutions, and, oti the other 
hand, never being ready to sacri* 
fice institutions as if they v/ere 
abuses. He wished also personally 
to express a hope, with regard to 
the political opponents of himself 
and his party, that there might be 
no feeling of persona] bitterness 
between them ; and if the resigna- 
tion of himself and his colleagues 
tended to the future welfare and 
prosperity of the countiry, he should 
always look with s£^tisfaction to 
the day on which that event oc- 

Lord Stanley immediately rose, 
and complimented Lord John Rus- 
sell on the great zeal, perseverance, 
ability, and talent with which, not 
only in the duties of his own de- 
partment, but in the management 
of the political business of the 
House, that noble Lord had uni- 
formly conducted the very arduous 
and difficult task which was as« 
signed to him. Lord Stanley then 
went on to say, that th^ division 
on the Address was not to be taken 
as an index of opinion as to the 
principles which the noble Lord 
(Lord John Russell) said were 
then under discussion. What the 
House of Commons said was, that 
under the circumstances in which 
the country was placed, the mat- 
ters to which the Crown had in- 
vited its attention, were considera- 
tions of too great importance to be 
deliberated upon incidentally in 
the House of Commons, which, 
after all, could come to no division 
upon them, from the form in which 
they were put, and in the absence 
pf any Government possessing the 

confidence of the House and the 
country. He could not help ex- 
pressing his regret, that the Speech 
was so framed as to be liaUe to a 
misconstruction in the eyet of the 
community, and might lead> in the 
public mind, to an imfHression per- 
fectly erroneous and perfeetly un- 
constitutional of course, thai tboee 
recommendations were the reopm- 
mendations of the Crown^ and not 
of the Ministerst who eonvtitu-^ 
tionally advise the Crown* He 
gave the late Government the 
credit of believing that, oeeeing to 
hold office, they would not atfeenwt 
to disturb those who might be 
called upon to undertake the buai- 
ness of the country bf a factiou» 

Lord John Russell : ** I am ex- 
tremely sorry, that any miioon- 
struction has prevailed in any quar- 
ter. I thought it was fenerdlj 
understood, that the Speeqh fiom 
the throne was the Spewh of 
Ministers. I am quite re^ to 
say, that I hope no such njaoon- 
struction will continue to exist. 
The Speech was the result o^ the 
advice of Ministers, and Mioiteii 
alone are responsible for it." . 

On the 8ui of September, mw 
writs were moved for in the Honijt 
of Commons for various placesy la 
consequence of the acceptance (| 
office by their representatives k 
the new Government formed by 
Sir Robert Peel. The House afto- 
wards adjourned until the 16th of 

J'he following is a list of the 
Ministry, as formed by the new 
Premier :-<« 




• •• 

• •t 

• •• 

Duke of Wellington. 

First Lord of the Treasury Sir R. Peel. 

Lord Chancellor 

Chancellor of the Exchequer 

Prendent of the Council 

Privy Seal ••• 

Home Secietary 

Foreien Steretary 

Colonial Secretaiy 

First Lord of the Admiralty 

Presiden/ of the Board of Control 

President of the Board of Trade 

Secreta*y at War 





f •• 

Lord Lyndhurst. 

Right Hon. H. GqulburN. 

Lord Wharncliffe. 

Duke of Buckingham. 

Sir James Graham. 

Earl of Aberdeen. 

Lord Stanley. 

Earl of Haddington. 

Lord Ellenborough. 

Earl of RiPON. 

Sir H. Hardinge. 

Treaiirer of the Navy and Paymaster ) r,, ^ wr 
of tie Forces ... ... J Su E. Kkatchboi,!. 

Posttnaster-General ..« ... Lord Lowther. 

Chmcellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Lord G. Somerset. 
Wiods and Forests ..« ••• Earl of Lincoln. 

Mister General of the Ordnance ... Sir G. Murray. 
Vce- President of the Board of Trade ) 
and Master of the Mint ••• j 

... Hon. Sidney Herbert. 
Sir G. Clerk. 

W. E. Gladstone. 

fecretary of the Admiralty 
Joint Secretaries of the Treasury ... 

Secretaries of the Board of Control . 

Home Under-Secretary 
Foreign Under-Secretary 
Colonial Under-Secretary 

Lords of the Treasury 




Lords of the Admiralty 


Storekeeper of the Ordnance 

Clerk of the Ordnance 

Surveyor- General of the Ordnance. •• 

Sir T. Fremantle. 
Hon. W. Baring. 
J, Emerson Tennent. 
Hon. C. M. Sutton. 
Lord Canning. 
... G. W. Hope. 

! Alexander Pringle. 
H. Baring. 
J. Young. 
J. MiLNES Gaskell. 
Sir G. CocKBURN. 
Admiral Sir W. Gage. 
Sir G. Seymour. 
Hon. Captain Gordon. 
Hon. H. L. CoRRY. 


Captain Boldero. 
Colonel Jonathan Peel^ 





• •• 

• •• 


Solid tor < General 

Judge- Advocate ... ... 

Governor- General of Canada 
Lord-Advocate of Scotland 



Sir F. Pollock* 


Dr. NicHOLL. 
Sir C. Bagot. 
SirW. Rae. 


Lord Lieutenant 
Lord Chancellor 
Chief Secretary 








Earl De Gret. 

Sir £. SuoDEN. 

Lord Eliot. 

Mr. Blackburnb» Q. C. ' 

Serjeant Jackson. 

Queen's Household. 

Lord Chamherlain 
Lord Steward 
Master of the Horse 






Earl Delaware, 
Earl of Liverpool. ' 
Earl of Jersey. 
Earl of RossLYN. 

Master of the Buckfaounds 
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard Marquess of Lothuv.' 
Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners Lord Forester. 
Vice-Chamberlain ... ... 

Treasurer of the Household 
Controller of the Household 


Lords in Waiting 



Lord Ernest Bruc& 
Earl Jermtn. 
Hon. D. Damer. 
Lord Abotne. 
Lord Rivers. 
Lord Hardwicke. 
Lord Btron. 


Groom in Waiting • 
Mistress of the Robes 

Ladies of the Bedchamber 



Earl of Warwick. 
Viscount Stdnbt. 
Earl of Morton. 
Marquess of Ormonde* 
Captain Metnsll. • 
Duchess of Buccleuch. 
/ Marchioness Camden. 


.•• I Lady Portman. 
f Lady Barham* 
\ Countess of CharleKont* 



Prince Albsrt^s Household. 

Groom of Ae Stole tt* *.t Marquess of Exeter* 

Sergeant-at-Arms tt* •*• ..* Colonel PercevaIi* 
Clerk Marshal #•* «*• ttt Lord Ct WsuiBSLBTt 



Re-election of Members of the Government — The House of Commons 
meets again on the I6th September-- Statement of Sir Robert Peel 
as to his intended course of proceeding — He announces the post" 
ponement <f his Jinancial measures till the next Session — Speech of 
Lord John Russell — He objects to the delay — He states at length his 
mew of tie state of public affairs — He is answered by Sir Robert 
PeeL-^Speech of Viscount P aimer ston'^He deprecates the postpone- 
ment of remedial measures. Speeches of Mr, FilUerSy Mr, Ward, 
Mr, Coltden, Viscount Sandon, Mr, Hawes, Mr, Litton, and other 
Members — Mr, Fielden mjoves that no Supplies be granted until 
after in enquiry into the distress of the country — His motion is 
negatped by a large majority. Mr. Greene is appointed Chairman 
of yhys and Means, Renewed discussions on the state of the 
coufi/ry. Speech of Mr. Otway Cave — Sir Robert Peel states that 
he skall not re^introduce Lord Stanley's Irish Registration BilL^-^ 
Stdements of Manufacturing distress maSe by several Members-^ 
Sit Robert Peel's answer — He declines to afford the explanations 
qf his future measures demanded by the Opposition. The Chancellor 
o^ the Exchequer makes his Financial statement'^Observations 
hereon of Mr, F. Baring. Speeches of Mr. Hawes, Mr, Ewart, 
Sir Robert Peel, Lord Palmerston, Mr, C. Wood, and other Mem» 
hers. The resolutions moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
care carried. Debates in the House of Lords ^ Lord Melbourne 
impugns the Ministerial plan qf Finance-^Speeches of Lord Ripon 
and the Duke qf Wellington — Lord Radnor's Remarks onjhe Duk^s 
speech-^Explanations — Speeches of Lord Kinnaird and the Duke 
^ Richmond. Progress qf business in the House qf Commons^-* 
jBtUfor creating additional Judges in Equity passed^-^Poor-'lawS'-^ 
Sir 22. Peel brings in a bill to contiriue the Commission for six 
monthS'-^Mr, Yorke moves an instruction to the Committee — Speeches 
of Sir J. Graham, Mr, Stuart Worthy, Mr, l^. Smith, Sir pxjbert 
Ped, Mr. Pakington and others — Mr. Yorkers motion is rejected by 
a large maJority'^Mr, S. Crawford moves two amendments, which 
are negatived after some discussion — Mr, B, Ferrand makes charges 
against the manufacturers — They are defended by Mr. Mark 
PhUUps^^Speech of Sir J. Graham'-^ Motion qf Mr. Fielden to 
tged the bill negattved by 183 to 18. Prorogation of Parliament-^ 
Aeech tf the Lords Commissioners-^End of the second Session tf 

202] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

THE re-elections of the Mem- 
bers of the Government by 
their respective constituencies hav- 
ing taken place without the loss of 
a single seat, the House of Com- 
mons re-assembled on the 16th of 
September, and those who had so 
long sat on the benches of Oppo- 
sition assumed their new places on 
the Ministerial side. The business 
was commenced by Sir Robert 
Peel moving proformd^ for a copy 
of the letter of the First Com- 
missioner of Woods and Forests to 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer^ 
on the subject of warming and 
ventilating the new Houses of Par- 
liamentj and which he made the 
occasion of stating his intentions 
as to the course to be pursued with 
respect to the public business of 
the country. He intended to 
adopt, without alteration, the Mis- 
cellaneous Estimates framed by 
the late Government, which would 
be submitted to the House on the 
following evening: ''but as the 
first part of those Estimates had 
been taken in a mass, instead of item 
by item, according to the usual 
course, he intended to reverse the 
mode with the second part, and 
to take them item by item instead 
of in the aggregate. He should 
have one addition to propose with 
respect to -flues and other works 
necessary to the warming of the 
new Houses of Parliament. It 
would be necessary to make pro- 
vision for the continuance of some 
expiring laws, and he should pro- 
pose to continue the existing Poor- 
law, wi^ its present establish- 
ment, to the dlst of the following 
July: whether by an ordinary 
Continuance-act,or by some special 
Act, he would leave it to the House 
to decide. With respect to the 
trials of election petitions, it ap- 
peared to him to be for the general 

convenience not to adopt any pro- 
ceedings at present for their deter- 
mination : the general Comniittee 
of Elections were empowered to 
fix the days on which the Bsweal 
petitions should be taken, and no 
act of the House was necessary to 
suspend the trial of them. He 
then adverted to the questicm of 
finance, and the general policy of 
the new Government : 

'' With respect to the fiii^^g^ 
arrangements of the year, my 
right honourable friend the Qwd- 
cellor of the £xchec[uer will, on 
the earliest day upop which a 
Committee of Ways and BliBans 
can be appointed, slate to the 
House what is the extent of the 
deficiency to be provided tx, qpon 
comparing the expenditme with 
the revenue for the preaeot yeur. 
I apprehend that it will be raund 
not to fall short of theestimateghren 
by the Chancellor of the Edube- 
quer, and that the sum of nevly 
2,500,0002. will have to be yro- 
vided for the service of the cnwvnt 
year. Into the details of this q||KS- 
tion my right honourable Fzioid 
will then enter, and avail hinndf 
of that opportunity to state wiiit 
are the measures by which he pro- 
poses to constitute a temporaiy 
power of meeting that deficiency. 
With respect to measures of & 
more permanent character, harag 
for their object to equidiae the 
revenue and exp^iditure of the 
country, it is not our intention 
during the present session rf Par^ 
liament to submit any measures for 
the consideration of die House. I 
have already expressed my <^inion 
that it is absolutely necessary to 
provide effectually for the equal- 
ization of the revenue and ex- 
penditure, and we shall avail 
ourselves of the earliest oppor- 
tunity, after a mature consideration 



of the drcuQistances and condition 
of the country, to suhmit to Par- 
liament measures for the purpose 
of remedying the existing evils. 
Whether that is to be done by 
diminishing the expenditure of the 
oountry> or by increasing the re- 
fenue, or by a combination of 
these two means^ i must postpone 
for further ooDsideration. It is 
enough for me to state at present, 
tbai it is imposiible for the country^ 
ocmsistently vith the public in- 
terestSf to proceed in that financial 
course which has been pursued for 
^yeral yeao past; but in pro- 
ceeding to consider the mode in 
which so gosat an evil is to be reme- 
died, I must ask for the confidence 
of the House to her Majesty's Go- 
▼emmenl> while they give to that 
subject their most serious consi- 
deratiov. (Loud cheers from the 
JUtnisUrial benches.) With regard 
to oth^r measures of a permanent 
natuzr, I must make the same 
appeil to your confidence. It is 
p^Dctly true that for. some days 
paaf I and my colleagues have been 
in fossemou of the powers of Go- 
y»nment; but the arrangements 
^ich I have had to make n)r com-> 
nfetins the Administration have 
^ot placed me in a position to 
proceed any further in the consi- 
deration of measures of such great 
and permanent importance to the 
well-being of the country. It is 
unquestionably out of no disre- 
BjpGct to the authority of Parlia- 
ment that I decline to submit to 
it my views upon these subjects ; 
it is not on account of the ad- 
vanced period of the year^ not on 
account of the probably deficient 
attendance of Members, not on 
account of the temptation to in- 
didge in other avocations* My 
o[Hnion i% that all such consi- 
derations ought to be sacrificed to 

the paramount consideration of 
duty^ and should not be permitted 
to interfere in the slightest degree 
with the business of the nation. 
The ground upon which I forbear 
from calling the attention of Par- 
liament to measures of that im- 
portant character rests on the 
peculiar circumstances connected 
with the formation of her Ma- 
jesty's present Government. I 
believe it to have been a just and 
true expression of opinion, before 
the late elections, that there was 
a great desire upon the part of 
those who will probably be the 
warmest opponents of her Majesty's 
Government to give them a fair 
trial ; and I now declare that, on 
the earliest possible occasion, the 
public will find that the opinions 
of her Majesty's Government upon 
these most important subjects shall 
be fully stated to Parliament. In 
the mean time, I trust that I do 
not misunderstand the general feel- 
ing of the House, uiat on the 
whole it is right, upon the forma-> 
tion of a new Government, that 
time should be given to them to 
consider those measures which |hey 
may think expedient to be in- 
troduced, in connexion with the 
financial difiiculties of the coun- 
try." (Loud cries of hear,) 

Lord John Russell said, that 
with regard to the immediate ob- 
ject of Sir Robert Peel's motion, 
it was not likely that he should 
have any objection to offer, and 
that he should certainly raise none 
against incurring any reasonable 
expense in carrying arrangements 
into effect for warming and venti- 
lating the new Houses of Parlia- 
ment. Upon the latter part of the 
right honourable Baronet's state- 
ment, however, he could not give 
the same assent to his prq[X>sals. 
He said, ^*Withr^ardtotheMi»* 

204] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

cellaneous Estimates, considering 
myself and those lately in office 
parties to those Estimates, I shall 
feel it my duty to attend and give 
my support to those votes. But^ 
with regard to the further state- 
ment of the right honourable Gen- 
tleman^ I shall certainly deem it 
my duty to take the opportunity 
to-morrow, before the House shaU 
go into Committee of Supply, to 
state the view which I take of 
the present state of public affairs. 
{Ixmd cheers Jrom the Oppositum 
benches*) I do not think it would 
be consistent now to enter .into 
this consideration ; and the course 
which I propose to take, of making 
my statement before the House 
goes into Committee of Supply, 
appears to me to be both the ordi- 
nary course, and consistent with 
due preparation. I heard with 
great concern from the right hon- 
ourable Gentleman the statement 
of his intention not to propose any 
measures during the present ses- 
sion. I do not say, that, during 
the last few days, while he was 
occupied with the care of forming 
an Administration, he can have 
given any new attention to the 
great measures to which he has 
adverted. But, considering the 
length of time which has elapsed 
since the disputed measures were 
proposed by the late Government, 
and the present state of the coun- 
try, I must say, that I shall be 
obliged to give it &s my opinion, 
that in the course of the present 
autumn the Government now con- 
stituted ought to propose their 
measures. 1 infer from the right 
honourable Baronet's statement 
that his intention is, having ob- 
tained the necessary supplies, and 
a renewal of the Poor-law Act, 
that the House of Commons should 
not meet agam until the ordinary 

time in February next. To-mor- 
row I will state why I diink thn 
course is not advisable in the pre- 
sent state of the country. TI19 
right honourable GentlesDan has 
truly said, that the House of Com- 
mons ought not to attend to matten 
of personal convenience in prefiv- 
ence to the business of the ooontiy. 
In that opinion I perfectly concor, 
and believe that there are consi- 
derations of public exigence wbkh 
ought to direct their immediate 
attention to measures which seem 
to me to be of the vastest inaport- 
ance. {Cheers from the Omm» 
tion benches.) I do not at all widi 
to embarrass the right honoarsibfe 
Baronet's course, but metdiy to 
intimate my views as to the ex- 
isting state of the country, ind 
the course which ought to be pur- 

Accordingly on the fottoidog 
evening, Sir Robert Peel baring 
moved the order of the day m 
going into a Committee of Supnly, 
Lord John Russell proceed^ to 
state his views upon the position 
of public affairs. He began by 
expressing his satisfaction at tin 
failure of the late attempt upon 
the lives of the royal family la 
France. He then expressed his 
disapprobation of the doctrine set 
up by the United States, relative 
to the affair of the Caroline, that 
their particular courts could not be 
withheld by their general Govern- 
ment from dealing with the sub- 
jects of other nations; because 
such a doctrine, pushed to its 
extreme, wduld put it in the power 
of a mere infenor tribunal of cri* 
minal law to involve two nations 
in war. He adverted in terms of 
comniendation to Sir Robert Peel's 
appointments in Ireland ; aftetf 
which he addressed himself to the 
main questions on which be dif- 



fered with the Government. The 
Queen had referred to the House 
the great question of the trade of 
Com: the House accepted thai 
reference with a condition that 
the Ministers should he changed. 
** The advice of the House of Com- 
mons was acceded to hy the Queen, 
and a Ministry was formed full of 
attachment to our institutions in 
Chumh and State, and to — the 
aUding-scale. (il laugh.) A new 
aet ot men are now placed in the 
Cabinet of tbe Queen. I am not 
one of those who think that we 
abonld look exclusively to mea- 
aoxes, and not to men. I think 
we should look to hoth ; but let 
Hi for a moment recur to the sen- 
timents expressed by the right 
lionoaTaUe baronet in April last. 
He then thoueht the dday of a 
noiith too much, he now proposes 
that tlere should be a delay of 
fire months. It was said most 
fairiy) that the right honourable 
Banmet had recently been occu- 
pied with forming a new Adminis- 
tmtfon, and could not be expected 
at snoe to bring forward his mea- 
mes ; but I hope the House will 
Bit forset the length of time which 
he had tor previous deliberation. At 
ihe end of April last the Budget 
of the late Government was pro- 
posed to the House. I then gave 
notice for a Committee of the whole 
Hoose to consider the laws afiect- 
ing the importation of Corn, and 
I Kirther gave notice, that within 
a month from that time I should 
bring the subject before the House. 
Protests were uttered against this, 
and I was told that the delay of a 
month would be intolerable; yet 
four months have elapsed since the 
Budget was brought forward, and 
the nght honourable Baronet pro- 
poses to add five months to the 
four, though when the late Go- 

vernment was in power four weeks 
were thought too great a delay. 
Does the right honourable Baronet 
say that he will take his stand 
upon the present Corn-laws ? The 
inference drawn from the compo- 
sition of his Government is, that 
he will not make any alteration in 
them. A threat had been held 
out that no alteration in the Corn- 
laws would be made, and I must 
be allowed to say, that the appoint- 
ment of the Duke of Buckingham 
to a seat in the Cabinet seems to 
indicate that the threat will be 
acted on ; for I am told that no 
one is more opposed than the Duke 
of Buckingham to any sudi alter- 
ation. The right honourable Ba- 
ronet and some others have not, 
perhaps, given any very decided 
pledge on the subject; because, as 
regards a sliding-scale, it may be 
such as to amount almost to a pro- 
hibition ; it may be such as to give 
a much less protection than the 
fixed duty which I proposed; there- 
fore am I justified in saying, that 
the right honourable Baronet and 
some others leave their opinions 
unknown, and have not given any 
indication of the nature of the 
measure they would propose, I, 
at the same time, could not but 
observe, that while the noble Duke, 
to whom I have alluded, has been 
made a Member of the Cabinet, 
there are others connected with 
his party, and who have, on occa- 
sions, been intrusted with high 
office, who entertain very difierent 
opinions from the noble Duke on 
this subject. Sir G. Murray, who 
was for a considerable time Secre- 
tary of State in the Administration 
of the Duke of Wellington, has 
expressed himself favourable to a 
fixed duty of 8*., or, I believe, of 
less. But Sir G. Murray is not a 
Member of the present Cabinet. 

2061 ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

There have been selections^ there- 
fore, from amongst those who have 
given decided opinions, and who 
belong to the party of the right 
honourable Baronet, of such as are 
in favour of prohibition and exclu- 
sion ('* Hear y hear"); while there 
has been a neglect and exclusion 
of those who have pronounced an 
opinion in favour of a freer trade 
in com than exists at present. 
This being the case, 1 ask is it 
possible that the country can pati- 
ently wait for five months with 
any well-grounded expectation that 
some large and improved measure 
respecting the trade in Corn is to be 
adopted ? I certainly do not think 
that such an expectation can be pro^ 
duced by the course of the right hon- 
ourable Baronet ; and if no intention 
of bringing forward such a measure 
is entertained, then I say that the 
arguments which you apply to me 
for the delay of one month tell 
with ten-fold force against yont* 
selves {^'Hear, hear*') ; for I say it 
is much better you should state—* 
for the sake of trade, that trade 
may not be impaired by false ex- 
pectations, and for the sake of 
agriculture, that it may not be 
depressed by unjust fears — that 
you mean to adhere in substance 
to the present law, and not to 
make any alteration in it. Of 
course, you may attempt some cor- 
rection of the frauds arising from 
the averages on the one hand, or 
you may, on the other, lower the 
pivot some 4*. or 5*., which would 
make the law less stringent ; but 
you would still be leaving the law 
very much as it is. If what I 
have now suggested be your inten- 
tion, why should it not be em- 
bodied in a measure, and that 
measure be proposed to Parliament 
in the month of October; why 
should not the anxiety and ex- 

pectation of the oountrv be set at 
rest, and not have this long dday 
interposed.^ The Com trade ii, 
no doubt, a most important bnudi 
of our commerce; but I do not 
see why, if there is to be no liter* 
ation proposed but in the pivot, if 
nothing but a different nuoibef of 
shillings is to be taken, so that the 
scale may be made somewhat more 
gradual than it is at present — I do 
not see why this great delay alioald 
be suffered to elapse, or why the 
Cabinet cannot now make up their 
minds upon the subject." 

Lord John Russell vindicated the 
landowners from the indiBorlttii- 
nate imputations of aelfilbiieil 
which had been made against dbeut 
It must be admitted, he Baid^ thit 
in all cases of this kind ttetioael 
interest gives a bias to t&evitir 
taken of the particular quetdoil ita 
dispute. This hbd been the ens 
with respect to parties engagbd In 
the silk trade, with respect to ridp- 
owners, and many other bodiil^ 
who, though assenting to the |n» 
eral principles of ftee-trade, cm- 
sidered that in their own particidtt 
case some protection was reqoirri 
to maintain the interests of thil 
portion of trade in which they 
were engaged. Alluding then to 
the existing state of the manu&c^ 
turing districts, he admitted that 
it was true no human laws could 

?revent occasional distressi hat 
'arliament should at least stand 
clear of all share in occasioninff it 
The present law was not justified 
by any cogent reason* Such re- 
strictions could only he vindicated 
on the ground of their being either 
conducive to revenue, or necessny 
for the protection of a particular 
class, who were unequally taxed, 
or in order to make a transition 
more gradual, and to prevent any 
embarrassment which might be oe^* 



oaaiimed by the sudden withdraw^ 
log of proteotion from any interest 
ffliich hid long enjoyed it But 
the preient Corn-laws, as he con- 
tended, could not rest upon any 
one of these three grounds of re- 
eommendation. Are they necessary 
for the sake of revenue? It is 
quite deari on the contrary, that 
your present law defeats all the 
piirpoles of revenue, and that if 
the meaiure which I had the hon- 
our ID announce, and which was 
never diBcussed, of a fixed duty 
of 8f*, had been adopted, the 
Exchequer would be now some 
400^000^ or 500,000/. the richer, 
OfU the admission of 1,000,000 or 
1,200,000 quartets of wheat, which 
nay now be admitted at 1^. Are 
ihif neceisary for equalizing the 
taaiation of two classes, by affording 
ptoteetion to the agriculturists ? I 
think u^. I think that a fixed 
doty ii far preferable in that re- 
spect, tnd that you hftVe no case to 
Inakeout for prohibition on that 
ground. I never, at least, heard 
Bueh a case attempted. Lastly, 
you cannot say the present Corn- 
lowi are necessary to make a tran- 
■ilion, because it has been adopted 
•a a permanent system; If such be 
the character of your Corn-laws, 
then I say> that those who are dis- 
treased have a right to come to you 
■ud aik you to consider their case, 
takd ask you to change any law which 
impedes trade and embarrasses 
industry, and, as far as legislation 
can do it, to place them in a better 
position. You may not be able to 
8ay» and^ above all, you should not 
piomise, that by any sudden change 
m the law you would place the 
people in a state of entire prosper- 
ity, and guard them against a] I 
future fluctuations and distress ; 
by this you would be able to say — 
'^ Whatever may be those distresses. 

we feel the deepest sympathy and 
compassion for them, but having 
done away with all those restrioi^ 
tions which could aggravate them, 
we are not responsible for their 
existence, and we have no share 
either in producing or continuing 
them/' That is what I feel you 
cannot justly say at present, and 
that if such distress does exist, no 
personal inconvenience, no incon- 
venience which may arise from 
being obliged to come to a decision 
upon the question in the course of 
another six weeks, ought to prevent 
you from taking into consideration 
during the present auttimn the 
laws which regulate the trade in 
corn." He then referred to the 
petitions to the Queen not to pro-* 
rogue Parliament until the question 
had been discussed ; which evinced 
the public anxiety on the subjects 
He could not help apprehending 
thatj if something were not prompt* 
ly done to ^relieve and stimulate 
trade> some of our manufactures, 
and especially the cotton-tradci 
would be outdone by foreign com- 
petition ; the capitalists of a dis- 
tressed district would withdraw 
their capital from the country, a 
large population would be thrown 
out of employment, and become a 
burden upon the poor-rates. If 
there was any ground for these 
apprehensions, they ought to be 
considered by Parliament, and that 
without delay. He considered this 
view of the question even more 
important than that of finance. In 
a financial point of view, however, 
he deeply regretted the course 
which it was proposed to adopt of 
taking a vote of credit for the pur- 
pose of the present year, instead 
of resorting to some measures by 
which they might hope to obtain 
an increase of revenue, and to 
stimulate the productive powers of 

208] ANNUAL REGISTER^ 1841. 

the country. I feel thoroughly 
persuaded that if, instead of pur- 
suing this course^ you had adopted 
those measures which the late 
Goyemment announced to the 
House of Commons on the 13th 
of April last^ you would have pro- 
duced a revival of trade. And, in 
augmenting the revenue hy such 
means^ you would have secured a 
still greater ohject^— an increase of 
the comforts and happiness of the 
people. Nay, more, 1 helieve that 
Dy declaring to the whole world 
that you were ahout to interchange 
your products for theirs^ upon the 
freest and most liheral principles, 
you would have contributed to the 
future peace of the world, con- 
vinced as I am that there is no 
security equal to the feeling that 
nations are deriving benefits from 
each other, that their intercourse, 
while it continued, shed additional 
advantages on each every year it 
was so continued^ and that if in- 
terrupted it would cause greater 
calamities than an ordinary war 
between hostile nations. Thinking, 
therefore, that the measures which 
we proposed would have tended to 
relieve the revenue and to improve 
trade, and that they would have 
contributed not only to the welfare 
of this country but to the peace of 
the world, I cannot help saying 
that I deeply regret their rejection. 
Still do I feel, even now that they 
are rejected, that the right honour- 
able Baronet and the Government 
ought not at once to decide that 
they will not enter into the con- 
sideration of those questions. If 
they have made up their minds to 
that course, I do not doubt that 
they vnll be supported in it by that 
majority whose confidence has 
already been expressed in their 
favour. But this I do expect, that 
when the whole course of this 

year is reviewed^ it will be fimnd 
on reflection by the people of this 
country, that great adnmtMBi 
would have been derived fran Um 
fair consideration, instead of the 
abrupt rejection, of the meaiiini 
we proposed, and that in acyoum* 
ing their consideration to neztyetf 
you will have adjourned tlie bene- 
fits which would flow fiom thfloi, 
and amongst those benefiti the 
alleviation of that distreai wiiidi 
exists in the country. {^Hetr, 
hear,*') It is not my intentioB, 
either upon this occasion or any 
other, as I can at present see, to 
propose any measure to the Hooter 
or ask for any division of Ae 
House against the eonne wincii 
the right honourable Baxonet pio- 
poses to adopt ; but, as a Memhtt 
of the House, I beg it to be mi- 
derstood that I do not hold lajielf 
in any way responsible for die eon- 
sequences which may enaaefion 
it." {Loftd cheers.) 

Sir Robert Peel said, he hal 
wished to avoid commencing Ae 
harassing and arduous task wUch 
lay before him by any oontrovv^ 
of a party nature ; but Lord Jon 
Russell was certainly free to tike 
his own course, and he did not 
seek to avoid the discussion* bat 
was rather glad of the opportuni^ 
for commenting on his obsenratiaiia. 
He concurred in the noble Lord's 
views of our foreign relatioos, and 
in his anxious wi&es for the pre* 
servation of Louis Philippe. Ai 
long as the iUustrious family on 
the throne of France continiied to 
reign, there was a sufficient goar- 
antee for peace. He did not think 
that the change of Goyemment 
here would interrupt amicable re- 
lations, because it was his own 
Government that advised the re- 
cognition of Louis FhiKppe as the 
choice of the French people* And 



he relied on the character of M. 
Guixot for the maintenance of that 
amity hetween France and £ng- 
land^ which was necessary for the 
advancement of social improvement 
and dvilixation. He viewed the 
state of our relations with the 
United States with apprehension 
and anxiety; hut it was so mani- 
festly the interest of hoth coun- 
tries to maintain peace^ that he 
could not but hope that the good 
sense of both communities would 
prevail. He reeretted that Lord 
John Russell had not by a definite 
motion taken the sense of the 
House as to the justice of the con- 
fidence which he, Sir Robert Peel^ 
asked in the course he proposed to 
pursue. '' I should have thought 
it so reasonable that after a lapse 
often years, for which I, with the 
exception of some three or four 
months, have held the situation of 
a private individual — I should have 
thought, that on returning to 
power after the lapse of ten years, 
there would have been an universal 
impression that it was but reason- 
able that I should not be called 
upon, within a month, to propose 
an alteration of the law in respect 
to the trade in com. I should 
have thought that it would have 
been felt that there might be ad- 
vantage in the access to official in- 
formation — that it might be desir- 
able to avail oneself of the inform- 
ation that exists, to ascertain the 
opinions of those who receive large 
emoluments from the public for the 
purpose of collecting information, 
and that it was but reasonable to 
permit me to have an interval, in 
conjunction with my colleagues, 
for the purpose of deliberately 
considering the proposition we 
should make. But, if I am re- 
sponsible for not proposing a mea- 
sure on the Corn-laws within one 

month of my accession to office^ 
what must be thought of that 
Government — that has held office 
for five years, and which never 
until the month of May, 1841, 
intimated, on the part of that 
Government, an united opinion ? 
( Great cheering,) What ! if you 
are so convinced of the intolerable 
evils inflicted upon this country by 
the operation of the Com -laws — 
if you think that commercial dis- 
tress is to be attributed justly to 
them — if you think they are at the 
root of the privation and suffering 
to which the labouring classes in 
some districts of the country are 
exposed, — what has been your 
neglect of duty in permitting five 
years to elapse without bringing 
forward on the part of an united 
Government a proposition for the 
remedy of these abuses? Why 
have you allowed this question to 
be an open question in the Admini- 
stration ? You may say, that you 
had no hope of carrying it. I tell 
you, then, that that course I will not 
pursue. I form my opinion on the 
subject of the alteration that may 
be made, and no considerations of 
convenience, no leaving it an open 
question to be proposed here and 
defeated there, shall prevent my 
bringing it forward ; and, having 
staled to the House of Commons 
the course I mean to pursue on the 
part of a concurring and united 
Government, of staking the exist- 
ence of the Government on the 
issue. But this question, respect- 
ing which now you feel so deeply 
convinced, — have you remained in 
office permitting Lord Melbourne 
to hold opposite opinions ?" {Great 

The greatest mischiefs which 
they could do to great principles 
was to leave them in abeyance. 
He took the Queen*s Speech not 

210] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

as a vague recommendation to 
consider the subject* but as virtu- 
ally a recommendation of the defi- 
nite proposal of an 8s, duty : did 
its proposers adhere to It now ? If 
not, they had to thank him for 
having stopped it. Had the ad- 
verse prospects of the harvest been 
realised^ and the duty been fixed 
at Ss, in all probability Parliament 
would now have been assembled, 
under the auspices of the Whigs, 
to abate that Ss. duty. Was it 
fair and reasonable, that in the face 
of a deficiency of seven millions 
and a half accumulated by the 
Whigs, which he found on enter- 
ing office, he should be asked at 
once to produce his financial 
scheme ? If he adopted the Whig 
Budget, would it repair the defi- 
ciency ? Lord Sydenham had told 
them that it was not safe to make 
the proposed alteration in the 
Timber-dutie8,8othatthe 600,000/. 
which they reckoned upon from 
that source was gone ; the price of 
British Sugar was so much reduced, 
that there was no prospect of real- 
izing 700,000/. from the reduced 
duty on foreign sugar : and to the 
400,000/., on which Mr. Baringhad 
reckoned from the new com duty, 
an additional sum of 1,100,000/. 
must have been raised in order 
to justify his calculations. 

Lord John Russell, — " No, no." 
Sir Robert Peel,— "I beg the 
noble Lord's pardon. I am speak- 
ing from the recollection of former 
debates, but I believe my statement 
will be found to be correct. The 
late Chancellor of the Exchequer 
said, ' I estimate the produce of 
the Customs in 1841 to be equiva- 
lent to the produce of the Customs 
in 1840.* Now, a portion of 
the Customs Duties in 1840 was 
1,100,000/. received from corn, and 
consequently that 1,100,000/. must 

be added to the 400,000/. fivivIuA 
the right honourable geDtlBBn 
took credit in his Bud^t ; iBecaoK, 
if there was any deficiency ia the 
1,100,000/. received fromooniin 
1840, there would prbbnUybet 
corresponding reduction in die 
Customs Duties of 1841. There- 
fore, unless you could niie 
1,500,000/. from com in 1841« die 
deficit, which I think I hare al- 
ready clearly shown amounted to 
1,900,000/. must have baen itill 
more largely increased } and« liow- 
ever cormal the co-oporationiAidi 
the noble Lord may receive bom 
those who sit behind lum> yet» 
when I listen to what thqr ettfte 
with respect to the *^ bread-tai*'* 
and the injustice of tubjecting to 
heavy duties that which fbnm tlie 
staff of the people's subnMeMei 
they will not hear, I am solfeb witb 
veiv cordial satisfaotiont Aat pnt 
of the Budget was toteyy 1^500,0001 
on the food of the people.'* ('^AmTi 

Sir Robert Pee] then jproeeeded 
to shoW| that the expenmtuft abe 
had been estimated below the pnn 
per amount. In China alooe dw 
real expenses of the year woiiU 
probably be 4,000,000/. instead of 
the 626,000/. in the estimate— ani 
there was an alarming tendency to 
increased expenditure in the colo- 
nies. 900,000/. was estimated oa 
an expenditure for Hong Koog 
this year, includins the constrac- 
tion of a main road. Sir Grcoi|e 
Gipps had issued bounty-warrants 
for emigrants to New South Waks 
to the amount of 979,000L-^re- 
duced bv Lord John Rusiell to 
500,000/.— 155,000/. had been 
voted to meet South Australian 
bills : while bills for 4,000/. more 
had been presented at the Treasof/ 
and protested : and a loan of 
1,000,000/. had been guaranteed 



to C»iia^ and 100,000/. hud been 
proniied for forti&ations. Before 
tb« GovenuneiLt were called upon 
to produoa tbeir financial scheme, 
ibqr oiighl to have time to revise 
the state of our commercial rela^ 
tioDS with the United States^ 
Naples, Texas, Brazil^ and France ; 
widi all of which countries com- 
nercial treaties were pending. 
Lord John Russell bad given him 
evedit for the constitution of the 
Irish Government ; had he not 
been, however, told, night after 
ni^tf that ba dared not form a 
Goveniiaent for Ireland ? that he 
would be the reluctant and degra- 
ded instrument of men ready to offer 
ooarsa insults to their Roman 
Catholic fellow-countrymen ? Not 
a mcmth had elapsed before those 
.predictions had besn reversed. He 
ttum declared the principle on 
W)u€h be would ^vern Ireland. 
'*| intend to adniinister the law 
with finoneas, and I hope with 
dignity, I will not permit the 
sdminiiUation of Irish affairs to be 
influenped by the hope of concilia- 
ting support in the House of Com- 
mons } but I declare that the en- 
gagement into which I have enter- 
ed to administer impartial justice in 
that country, fibalt, as far as depends 
upon me, be strictly fulfilled." 

In conclusion, Sir Robert Peel 
adverted to the peculiar circum- 
itunces under which he had taken 
office, ** What personal motive," he 
asked^ " could I have had, to induce 
me to undertake the burdens and 
responsibility of office ? Is it 
likely that I would go through the 
labour which is daily imposed upon 
me, if I could not claim for myself 
the liberty of proposing to Parlia- 
ment those measures which 1 be- 
lieve to be conducive to the public 
weal ? I will claim that liberty — 
I wUl propose those measures ^ and 

I do assure this House, that no 
consideration of mere political sup- 
port should induce me to hold such 
an office as that which I fiU by a 
servile tenure which would compel 
me to be the instrument of carry- 
ing other men's opinions into effect. 
I do not estimate highly the dis- 
tinctions which office confers. To 
any man who is fit to hold it, its 
only value must be, not the patron- 
age which the possessor is enabled 
to confer, but the opportunity 
which is offered to him of doing 
good to his country. And the 
moment I shall be convinced that 
that power is denied me, to be ex- 
ercised in accordance with my own 
views of duty, I tell every one who 
hears me, that he confers on me 
no personal obligation in having 
placed me in this office. Free as 
the winds, I shall reserve to myself 
the power of retiring from the dis- 
charge of its onerous and haras^ng 
functions, the moment I feel that 
I cannot discharge them with sat- 
isfaction to the public and to my 
own conscience. {Great cheering,) 
Viscount Palmerston admonished 
Sir Robert Peel not to plume him- 
self too confidently on his majority, 
for there was a country as well as 
a House of Commons. Sir Robert 
Peel had indeed been ten years 
out of office, but he had been en- 
gaged during all that time in 
public business, and was, from his 
habits and attainments, peculiarly 
fitted to form a judgment on public 
affairs. It was probable, the com- 
position of the Cabinet being con- 
sidered, that the right honourable 
Baronet, if he waited for a Go- 
vernment united on the Corn- 
question, would wait, not for five 
months onlv, but for ever. He 
had argued, that the late Govern- 
ment could not, had they remained 
in office, have stood by their own 


212] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Budget. Undoubtedly they would 
have stood by it. A bad harvest 
here would not have prevented the 
continuance of the Ss, duty; for 
under such a duty, the steady sup- 
ply from abroad would have pre- 
vented exorbitant prices. He was 
not disposed, when he looked at 
the new Government^ to under- 
rate the trouble its construction 
must have cost Sir Robert Peel. 
He would therefore have been 
content not to press the right 
honourable Baronet for a decision 
to-day or to-morrow; but he did 
think that Parliament ought not to 
be dismissed for several months, 
without some previous explana- 
tions. He denied^ that the recom- 
mendation of postponing the Tim- 
ber-duty was applicable to the late 
Budget ; and as to Su^^ the cal- 
culation of the late Government 
had met both events ; if foreign 
sugar were attracted by high prices^ 
it yielded a large revenue; if an 
abundance of British colonial sup- 
ply kept prices low, that abundance 
equally recruited the Exchequer. 
He contended, that the colonial 
expenses contemplated by Sir Ro- 
bert Peel would not prove to be of 
the magnitude apprehended by 
him ; and if the right honourable 
Baronet meant to postpone his 
financial statement until all the 
colonial governors should be per- 
fectly within bounds, the House 
would have to wait a long while 
for his Budget. The Ministry 
having turned out their predeces- 
sors upon the questions of finance 
and commercial restrictions, it was 
reasonable that the intended mea- 
sures should be speedily announced. 
The argument for delay derived 
from foreign treaties of commerce^ 
was, in truth, an argument for 
immediate proceeding; the change 
proposed was for the benefit of our 

own people irrespectively of b- 
reigners, and if it were onee mtde, 
any subsequent negociatiom would 
be attempted with so much gmUr 
advantage. On the w1ude» he'did 
not think the country would legttd 
as satisfactory the reaaona an^vd 
for postponement. He gave cndk 
to Sir Robert Peel for hif om 
personal feelings and opifiKWii^hot 
when he saw the motley chanctor 
of the Ministry, he could no longot 
consider the character of the Ire. 
mier as a sufficient guarantee. And 
if the real reason of the ddaj wu, 
that the Ministers wanted tune to 
come to an agreement among tbea- 
selves, at least they might airive 
at it somewhat sooner than Fchfn- 
ary next. 

Mr. Vllliers complainedt dnt 
four years had elapsed smoe Ae 
people had begun to pmy noit 
earnestly for the revision of the 
Corn-laws. A committee hid 
taken evidence, but that evidenee 
had been disregarded. When it 
length a Cabinet had propond to 
deal with the question, everj ob- 
struction had been opposed lij Sir 
Robert Peel. And now the nib- 
ject was postponed again, meidj 
because it did not suit the peraoml 
convenience of members tu sit it 
this time of year. If the Minitten 
were not ready, if they wanted 
time to deal with matters new to 
them, that was a reason why they 
should not have taken office away 
from those who already possesnd 
the requisite information. Inquiry 
was still refused ; the presumption 
must be, therefore, that the Minii- 
ters feel the justice of the demand, 
but wanted to evade it. If such 
conduct were pursued, this great 
question would at last be settled, 
not in that House, but out of it. 

Mr. Brotherton complained of 
the exis ing distress. He was no 



adberent of party ; he would sup- 
port anjr Ministry which would 
give good measures. He implored 
tne Ministry to declare its policy 
before it should be too late. 

Mr. Ward said, that if the right 
bonouraUe Baronet had had no 
time for the last three weeks^ he 
had had plenty of time before. An 
Minoiinoementof the financial plans 
was not perhaps to be expected ; 
bat on the Com question^ a clear 
dedaration ought certainly to have 
been made* 

Mr. A. O'Brien was satisfied^ 
and 80 would be the country, to 
ffraot the required delay> because 
he and they had confidence in the 
preient Grovemment. 
V Mr. Cobden said^ that if public 
opinion had been with the Con- 
aervatiyes^ they would have carried 
their elections without the bribery 
whidi had lately been practised. 
He enlarged on the existing dis- 
tress at Stockport lind in other 
northern distncts, and doubted 
whether^ if this discussion should 
be postponed for six months, there 
would not be many of his own 
oonstituents removed by death or 
emigration. He hoped care would 
be taken this winter to let the 
people know who robbed them; 
the robbers were not the capitalists, 
bat the friends of the Com -laws. 
Sir Robert Peel, on a former night, 
when the distress at Bolton was 
mentioned, seemed to think the 
operatives might be content with 
pauperism. No; they would not 
consent to be made paupers. They 
would, if possible, get rid of the 
law which deprived them of food ; 
if they could not do that, they 
would submit themselves to the 
secondary punishment of trans- 
portation. He protested against 
treating these subjects as party 
^estions -^ against making the 

House a mere debating club-— 
against postponing the question of 
the Corn-laws throughout the 
coming winter, in which a con- 
vulsion was deeply to be appre- 

Viscount Sandon was surprised 
at the charge of delay from the 
other side of the House, and not 
less at the charge of corruption, 
when he remembered the cases of 
Bridport, Nottingham, and so many 
other of the Opposition boroughs, 
contrasted as those cases were with 
the unbought elections for the 
counties. He believed the Con- 
servative gentlemen had shown as 
much humanity as the mill-owners, 
who kept up this excitement to 
divert the minds of their opera- 
tives* and sought to monopolize 
the character of benevolence. In 
private, the capitalists of Lanca- 
shire would themselves admit the 
true cause of the distress to be 
over-trading and not Cora-laws. 

Sir Robert Peel desired, in ex- 
planation, to defend himself from 
Mr. Cobden's charge, that he 
wished to leave people in that 
state of pauperism of which some 
frightful instances had occurred at 
Bolton. So far from it, he had, on 
the very day after his appointment 
to office, requested the Secretary 
for the Home Department to send 
an Assistant Commissioner to Bol- 
ton, for the special purpose of in- 
quiring into the painful circum- 
stances which, from the time of 
the former debate, had continued 
to press upon his memory. 

Mr. Hawes entered into the 
general question as between the 
fixed duty and the sliding-scale, 
contending earnestly for the for- 
mer, and lamenting that Sir Robert 
Peel had not thought it his duty 
to give the desired explanations. 
Mr. Litton hoped^ that the 

214] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

4,000,000 or 5,000,000 of agci- 
cultural labourers in Ireland would 
not be wholly forgotten, in the 
sympathy of the House for manu- 
facturing distress. But the Irish 
labourers would have been de- 
stroyed by such a Corn-law as the 
late Ministry desired to pass, and 
the agricultural towns would have 
shared their &te. In that country, 
the satisfaction at the change of 
Ministry was universal, among 
those who had anything to lose. 

Mr. S. Crawford thought that, 
on the contrary, nothing u'ould be 
so useful to Ireland as a total re- 
peal of the duties on com. 

Mr. M. J. 0*Connell, though he 
gave Lord Eliot credit for meaning 
well to Ireland, could not antici- 
pate that that noble Lord would be 
able to execute his good inten- 
tions ; nor was there reason for 
giving the same credit to Lord 
Eliot's colleagues. 

Mr. Hardy attributed the dis- 
tress in the North of England to 
over-production, occasioned by the 
facility of borrowing from joint- 
stock banks. He vindicated his 
own friends from the imputation 
of bribery, and observed, that the 
Ministerialists had gone to every 
election with the promised bribe of 
a big loaf. 

Mr. Hindley asserted the exist- 
ence of the distress, and denied 
that it arose from over-production. 
There was not too much of manu- 
factured goods, but there was too 
little of rood. 

Mr. M. Milnes vindicated the 
postponement of the explanations 
demanded by the Opposition. Gen- 
tlemen on the other side could not 
impugn the principles of a majority 
of the House, except upon the 
ground that it did not represent 
the miyority of the country. But 
surely Lord John Russell^ the 

author of the Reform Act, ooald 
scarcely head a party fbunding it* 
self on that assumpdoii. 

Mr. V. Smith made aamt ob- 
servations in answer to the 
ment of Sir Robert Ped, 
ing the finances of Neir Soodi 

Sir Robert Peel vindkatsd ha 
own accuracy, by referenee to a 
despatch of Lord John Buf 11, 
who said a few wmda by wsy. of 

Mr. Fielden moved, as an anMaii- 
ment, that no supply be gmrtod 
until after an inquiry into Ao 
causes of the existing fliitmi 
This Amendment was OBWinm \if 
Dr. Bowring, but it gate riao to 
no discussion, and was negotifed 
on a division by a great nia{oii^» 

The Speaker having uft Ae 
chair. Sir Robert Feu pmpnonil, 
that the House should olioQoo a 
Chairman of Ways ^d Meai^ who 
should also act as chairaian ojf othsr 
public committees, and attOQfl to 
the conduct of such private biUf as 
were unopposedf For this offioo 
he proposed Mr. Greene, who hod 
previously held the same;, anil dwt 
Gentleman was at onoe nnoqh 
mously called to the chair, and 
returned thanks to the Houoe fiir 
the honour conferred on hini. Tho 
first item in the Miscellaneouo Go- 
tiraates was then moved, and fotod 
without a division; after which 
the House adjourned. 

The subject of the state of t^ 
country and of the Ministerial 
policy was renewed a few ni|^ti 
afterwards in the House of Cooi- 
mons, in a desultory debate whidi 
took place on going into a Cooh 
mittee of Supply. Mr. Otwigr 
Cave protested agaioat the taatm 
taken by the Ministers cxn the 
Corn-laws. He thought it vmalA 
be said, that it ww VUiikflA l(J in*. 



humanitj, impolicy^ and inconsist- 
encj. When the working-classes 
ooupled that course with the ex- 
presBiODS attributed to a noble Duke 
m another place^ '^ that their misery 
was in a great degree their own 
fimlt—ihat in this country such a 
■fcate of things prevails, that any 
oian with common honesty and 
eommon prudence may provide a 
oompetency for himself/' he would 
not mjf that these expressions were 
anouch to drive the working*classes 
nad^ but he feared it would greatly 
tend to augment their discontent. 
He thought also that they would 
oouple it with another assertion 
ultofid on a former occasion by 
tlw Member for Liverpool (Vis- 
emmt Sandon), who said, that *' he 
thought the present Corn-laws un- 
eonneoted with the present dis- 
trenk" He thouffht also that they 
would be greatly grieved, when 
they read the assertion attributed 
to the right honourable Baronet 
the Member for Dorchester, who 
advocated scarcity* prices at all 
tioiei and at all sacrifices: the 
right honourable Baronet was re- 
ported to have said, that '' he who 
lajra the axe to the root of protec- 
tion— -who by forced enactments 
would decree that diminished pro- 
duce should not be compensated by 
a high piice — would depreciate 
native industry, and prove fatal to 
the agricultural interest." This 
doctrine was therefore openly ad- 
vocated, that at all hazards and 
aacrificcs scarcity-prices must be 
kept up. He feared, when the 
worldng-olasses read these expres- 
noni, and saw coupled with them 
the door of the House of Commons 
shut for five months in the face of 
a starving population, it needed no 
propheOT to predict what would be 
the evils and discontents which 
would prevail in the iqpproachiiig 

winter. He might say also, it was 
inconsistent in the right honour- 
able Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) to 
ask for this delay. He had not his 
speech by him at that moment, but 
he believed that he said in April 
last, ** that one month's delay on 
the subject of the Corn-laws would 
be an intolerable evil;" and yet, 
after three months' delay, the right 
honourable Baronet asked for five 
months more. Mr. Cave wished 
to know when Sir Robert Peel's 
difficulties with regard to Ireland 
had been got over, and whether he 
intended to persevere in bringing 
in Lord Stanley's Registration 
Bill ? He believed, that honour- 
able Gentlemen opposite hated Ire- 
land '< with a pure and perfect 
hatred." They thousht themselves 
justified in doing so, from the enor- 
mous fictions about Ireland which 
were published in the newspapers. 
Of the private and personal cha- 
racter of the two noblemen who 
were to fill the situations of Lord- 
Lieutenant and Chief Secretary 
for Ireland, no one could entertain 
a higher opinion than he did ; but 
they would hardly tell him that 
they were experienced and prac- 
tical politicians. The inference 
which the people of Ireland had 
drawn from two such appoint- 
ments was, that two politicians 
unaccustomed to the conduct of 
great affairs had been sent to try 
" their 'prentice hand" on Ireland 
— " experimentum in corpore vilu" 
Of this he felt certain, that if 
those two noble Lords had the 
most perfect and best intentions 
and the highest abilities, they would 
all be frustrated by a Cabinet con- 
taining the present Lord Chancel- 
lor and the Member for North 
Lancashire. He therefore asked a 
clear and unequivocal answer to 
his question; and if it were not 

216] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

gi^en, the Irish people would feel 
themselves justified^ and have no 
other resource than to resort to 
political agitation^ and that with- 
out the least delay. 

Sir Robert Peel replied to Mr. 
Cave's question, that he certainly 
did not intend to re-introduce 
Lord Stanley's Bill, nor had he 
any immediate intention of bring- 
ing forward a measure on the same 
subject 3 but, in concert with Lord 
Stanley and the House generally, 
he should be exceedingly glad to 
correct such abuses as notoriously 
prevailed in the system of Irish 
Registration. He should at the 
same time be exceedingly unwil- 
ling, in attempting to correct those 
errors, that the franchise which it 
had been intended to confer upon 
that part of the United Kingdom 
under the Reform Act, should 
suffer any limitation. 

Mr. S. Crawford urged upon 
the House the great distress which 
existed at Rochdale^ and said, that, 
if Sir Robert Peel could not pro- 
pose measures to relieve the people, 
some temporary Act should at least 
be passed to lower the price of food, 
by removing the tax on the im- 
portation of foreign com. 

Mr. Thornely also bore testi- 
mony to the alarming depression 
in every branch of manufacturing 

Sir Robert Peel heard with the 
deepest regret any account of the 
sufferings of any portion of the 
people; but at the same time he 
had a very strong impression, that 
it was very difficult, by any act of 
legislation, suddenly to provide a 
remedy. He should only be coun- 
tenancing a fatal delusion, if he 
encouraged the belief that it was 
possible for Parliament to adopt 
any measure by which immediate 
relief could be afforded. The only 

hope with respect to ihe eflSxt of 
legislation was to lay the fbunda* 
tion for improvement, and woik a 
gradual amelioration in tlie coo* 
dition of society. 

The same topics and argameDti 
were repeatedly urged upon dM 
Prime Minister during the re- 
mainder of this flihort weMmoa bf 
Members on the Oppodtkm fldedF 
the House. The most diatreHitt 
statements of the depreasion of 
trade and the sufferings of tlie 
manufacturing classes at BaItOB« 
Paisley^ and other placei^ woe 
continually made, the polii^ of die 
Government in deferring the ia* 
troduction of remedial meanm 
was warmly impugned, and Sir 
Robert Peel was urgendy pnaed 
again and again to make aome dis- 
closure to the House of the natme 
of the relief which he proposed to 
afford. Several public meetingi 
were also held, and petitions seat 
to Parliament, praying that the 
Houses would not separate until 
they had devised some remedy fiir 
the existing distress, and smad 
the question of the Corn-laws. Sir 
Robert Peel, however, stood firm 
to the resolution which he had 
originally announced, of taking 
time to deliberate on the pcdicj 
which he should adopt, and he 
refused to accede to tne deaumd 
which his opponents made, that he 
would at least give them some ut- 
timation of what his future plans 
were. When urged by Mr. M« 
Gibson, Mr. P. M. Stewart, and 
others to speak out, he made an^* 
swer, *' If all the honourable Cjeo- 
tlemen wished for was to know a 
little bit of his mind, he could see 
no practical advantage that woold 
be obtained by the gratification of 
the wish, and he thought the 
course which he himself p roposed 
to pursue would be found a mudi 



more rational one. He and his 
colleagues had been called upon to 
repair some share of the enormous 
embarrassments in which the finan- 
ces of the country had been in- 
volved. Under these circumstan- 
oea» they asked the House of Com- 
mons to allow them a sufficient 
time to take a comprehensive view 
of the state of the country, and to 
mature those plans which they 
would feel it their duty to submit 
to the consideration of Parliament. 
He had distinctly stated, at the 
elofle of the last Session, that if 
called to power, he would not 
faring forward any premature de- 
clarations as to the intentions of 
her Majesty's Government. This 
dedaration he had made repeatedly, 
and the sense of the country had 
been taken at the general election, 
under the distinct announcement 
that such was his intention. The 
declaration of the country, as given 
by the elections, was clearly in 
flavour of the course which he pro- 
posed to take." 

Later in the Session, some in- 
teresting discussions took place in 
the House of Lords on the same 
subjects, but as they bore imme- 
diate reference to the financial ar- 
rangements proposed by Mr. Goul- 
bom, it wiU be necessary first to 
ezpiaiii the nature of his plans. 
He brought forward his statement 
in a Committee of Ways and 
Means, on the 27th of September. 
He first explained what was want- 
ed. The Supplies which the House 
had voted during the present ses- 
sion of Parliament amounted to 
l,727,432L; and consisted, first, 
of that portion of the Miscellaneous 
Estimates which had not been 
voted in the last session of Parlia- 
ment, and of the Canada Estimates, 
of which part only had been voted 
Itst Session i and he had to add the 

Supplementary Estimates for the 
Ordnance, amounting to 67,744/., 
and a deficiency in the Ways and 
Means to meet the Supplies which 
had been voted in the last Ses- 
sion of Parliament, amounting to 
24,896/. ; thus making a total of 
1,727,431^., which had been voted 
in Committee of Supply. In ad- 
dition to what had been voted in 
Committee of Supply, there was a 
charge for the interest of Ex- 
chequer-bills, for which it was 
necessary to provide from the Ways 
and Means, of 740,000/. ; and 
this, added to the sum he had pre- 
viously stated, made a total of 
2,467,432/., which the House was 
called on to provide for. 

That did not differ materially 
from the deficiency anticipated by 
Mr. Baring. The House would 
be already aware that he proposed 
funding a portion of the unfunded 
debt. The amount of that debt 
was not perhaps very alarming; 
but he had always contended that 
it ought not to exceed what could 
be easily and lightly borne. As 
long as Exchequer-bills were the 
only safe securities giving daily 
interest, a comparatively large 
amount of Exchequer-bills might 
properly be left afloat; but ap- 
proved banks and good discounts 
now yielded a larger daily interest 
than Exchequer-bills, which last 
therefore, it became desirable to 
reduce. His proposal to the pub- 
lic had been completely successful ; 
and the subscription he had ob- 
tained would enable him to give 
the requisite relief. The sum 
subscribed had been upwards of 
3,500,000/., exceeding by a mil- 
lion the amount he had cflJled for ; 
and the terms he had offered (the 
difference in the price of the funds 
being considered) were not higher 
than those offered by Mr* luting 

218] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Rice in 1838. The bonus would 
be found to be about ISs, lOd. per 
cent. With respect to the requi- 
gite suj^ly, immediate taxation 
was clearly out of the question, 
and he would therefore be, under 
existing circumstances^ prepared to 
propose a mode of supp)^, which, 
as a permanent resource* he should 
certainly deprecate, by an issue of 
Exchequer-bills, or a sale of stock, 
at the option of Government i and 
he suggested this altematiTe me« 
thod in order that the market 
might not be presently flooded 
again with a quantity of Ex- 
chequer-bills, equal to that from 
which it had just been relieved. 
The question as to the mode of 
raising permanent revenue would 
most properly, he thought, be 
postponed until there should have 
been time and opportunity for con- 
sidering the whole su^ect, and 
for endeavouring to effect some 
permanent equalisation of revenue 
with expenditure. 

He looked forward to that period 
when, after looking to the receipts 
of the country and to the sources 
of the national wealth, they should 
be enabled to devise a mode of 
drawing out the resources of the 
revenue. He looked forward to 
that period when they should be 
enabled to take the whole case in 
detail, and when they would not 
be called on to consider the mode 
of dealing with the deficiencies of 
one year, but to consider how the 
whole expenditure and revenue of 
the country could be put on such 
a footing as would render them 
equal to each other. 

He concluded by moving a reso* 
lutien in accordance with the plan 
which he had explained, for fund- 
ing the recent subscriptions in 3 
per cent. Consols. 

Mr. Bttdngy the late Chancellor 

of the Exchequer, expiesKd kb 
satisfaction that the nx mondis 
elapsed since he made bitfinaMHl 
statement, had not been found to 
have materially varied hia calcula- 
tions. He doubted whether Ac 
success of the Chancellar of the 
Exchequer would turn out to ka 
so complete as that Mloiater ex- 
pected. The terms on whidi he 
had dealt had certainly been Mt 
ones. They were the temii oAnd 
by the Whig Chancellor of the b^ 
chequer in 1838, and one-tihiid 
bwer than the terms of the Te^ 
Government ten years ago. He 
thought it wise of the GovenuBflBft 
to have avoided what was caDsd 
" a loan ;*' and approved the eltsr- 
native of an issue of Bxaheqeaii 
bills, or a sale of Stock. Bat all 
this amounted to the ymf plan 
which the late Ministry was Uwied 
for bringing forward. If he 
thought this delay wem mini 
merely for the purpoae of glviqg 
fair time for considemtion» he 
should make no objection ; hot as 
there had ieea tune enoogh to 
turn out the late Ministry on Chs 
point of Finance, the point of 
Finance must have been fully qon^ 
sidered, and the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer ought to heve hovi 
ready this session with some inti* 
mation of the result. 

Mr. Goulbum contended thai 
his measure had already mooeedcdj 
for the money subscribed was sof- 
ficient to reduce 3,500,000/. of the 
unfunded debt ; and the option of 
issuing new Exohequer-hiUif or 
adling stock, secured the Bonef 
which would be wanted for the 
supply. He contrasted the doCuls 
of his own arrangement advan- 
tageously with those of Mr. Sprii^ 
Rice*8 management. It was no 
ground of bliune in a leatter of m 
much fluctiiatk)n# thatibnMrToqr 



Oofemmeiits had been obliged to 
•flfer higher tenns. He desired 
not to TC undefstood^ in his re- 
quest of fiirther time for consider- 
«tloii> ai expressing any opinion 
that it would be practicable to 
dispense with additional taxation ; 
but he thought it his duty to 
examine fully into the whole sub« 
jcttt before he came to any specific 
vaoommoidation. It was said that 
the late Ministry had been blamed 
tar Dfopounding the very plan 
which the present Mbistry had 
adopted. But the difference was> 
that the late Ministry had been 
long in office, with full time to 
digest their plans; the present 
Bfuuitry had had only three or 
lour weeks to deal with all the 
various business which pressed up- 
on them* 

Mr. Williams objected to any 
iacveaae of the national debt, as 
throwing upon posterity the bur- 
den! which ought to be borne by 
the piesent generation. He would 
pnqiOBe to make up the deficiency 
by diminution of expenditure. 

Dr. Bowring complained of the 
iliQidieate expenditure of modern 

Mr. Hawes expected no exten- 
ttve oomm^xial or fiscal reform 
ftom the present Ministers, differ* 
ing as they did among themselves 
upon the great and often-debated 
question of the Corn-laws. He 
vindicated the Budget of the late 
Govemmenl;, and declared himself 
diwppointed at the course the Mi- 
nisters were taking, and at their 
delay in the announcement of their 
pbuia. He was particularly anxious 
to know their intentions on the 
fohject of the Corn-laws. 

Mti, Ewart denounced the pro* 
traced and mysterious silence of 
Government. He gave an enume. 
ratien of the mills now at a stand. 

or only partially working, in seve- 
ral of the great manufacturing 
towns, amounting in all to about 
50 sets of premises. He expa* 
tiated upon the necessity of ftee- 
trade as a remedy for these evils, 
and thanked Lord Stanley for the 
admissions made by him at his 
late election on the subject of the 
Corn-laws. He wished that Sir 
Robert Peel would endeavour to 
bend circumstances to his views, 
rather than shape his views to cir- 

Mr. Scott pressed the Gov^n- 
ment to consider the state of the 
country before the pronation. 

Sir Robert Peel hoped he should 
not be deemed guilty of disrespect 
to the gentlemen opposite, if he 
persisted in his reserve. The pre« 
sent Ministers ought not to be 
charged, as some had charged them, 
with the blame of all expenses they 
had not resisted when in Oppo- 
sition. For instance, in the case 
of China, they had objected to the 
policy of Viscount Melbourne's 
Government^ but that policy being 
once adopted by Parliament^ the 
then Opposition could not, with- 
out injury to their country's ho- 
nour and interest, have opposed 
the grants which were necessary 
to carry her through the contest. 
But whatever reductions it should 
be found possible to make, this 
Government was disposed and de- 
termined to attempt, although there 
seemed very little chance that re« 
duction could be carried to any 
such extent as would relieve the 
country to the amount of the 
present deficiency of 5,000,000/. 
Much had been said of the present 
deplorable state of the country. 
He begged that gentlemen would 
rememW, at a future day, their 
own accounts of the condition of 
public affairs at the aooesiion of 

220] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

the present Ministry. He admit- 
ted and sympatbised with the ex- 
isting distress; but he cautioned 
Members against the exaggeration 
of it. A case had been cited some 
days ago by Mr. Hindley, of ex- 
treme wretchedness : Government 
had inquired into it ; and the 
statement made to Mr. Hindley 
had turned out utterly untrue. 
He was resolved that while he 
had the powers of Government, 
inquiry should be made into all 
cases specifically stated. 

Viscount Palmerston admitted 
that if the large measures proposed 
by the late Government were to 
be rejected, the present plan was 
better than immediate taxation. 
The country had been pleased, by 
returning a Conservative majority, 
to place the present Administra- 
tion in office, and the first fruit 
had been an addition of 2,500,0002. 
to the national debt. He hoped 
they might not find the new 
Ministers dear at the money. He 
thought the House had a right to 
know from those Ministers, not 
indeed what were the details of 
their plan, but what was the prin- 
ciple of it : unless they had made 
up their minds about that, they 
should not have used the Budget 
as the means of turning out the 
late Administration. 'Diey were 
not entitled to blame the expenses 
of the Army and Navy ; for they 
had ever urged increase instead of 
diminution in our armaments. 
What might be their intentions on 
the Corn-laws none knew. There 
was an obvious difference among 
them on this point ; and though it 
might be reasonable to give them 
some time for agreeing among 
themselveS) yet there might be a 
limit to that delay, and Parliament 
ought to be again assembled in 
the course of £e autumn. The 

degree of the existing distreM 
might be disputed, but none cooU 
deny that it arose io no null 
measure from the Com*IawB. He 
could not believe, tiU he shoiiU 
actually see it, that Sit BolMrt 
Peel, whose general principle wm 
to consult public feeling, ccmld in- 
tend to prorogue in the fint di^ 
of October, without coming to 
some decision on this greet qoei- 
tion. Whatever thet deeuioo 
should be, the parties intereiCed 
ought to know it. The pieient 
uncertainty was a dog to all 
transactions, and an injurj to all 

Mr. Fielden hoped that Sir Bo- 
bert Peel would devise some menu 
for relieving the distress he might 
inquire into. 

Mr. C. Wood criticised Mr. 
Goulburn*s statement, presmd like 
the preceding speakers for fnrther 
announcements from the Minii- 
ters, and insisted on the adTsn- 
tages of free-trade and the neoes- 
sity of alterations in the Con* 

Some financial explanatioiis 
passed between Mr. Ghmlburoy 
Mr. Baring, and Mr. C. Wood ; 
and the resolutions necessary fot 
effectuating the measures opened 
by the Chancellor of the Ezche* 
quer were voted without further 

On the second reading of the 
Exchequer-bills Funding Bill be* 
ing moved in the House of Lordi^ 
Viscount Melbourne made some 
caustic remarks, though in a tone 
of great good-humour, on the 
Financial proposals of the Govern* 
menu He said : 

'^ Of course, having a defidencyi 
that deficiency must be supplied 
by some loan or form of bcnrtow^* 
ing; and I do not know that I 
have any particular oljectioB lo 



the ibrm in which it is now pro- 
posed to be done. I know only 
one objection^ and it is certainly a 
very great one— that it has failed ; 
tbat you have not succeeded in 
joar object— « that you have not 
raiaed your money— that you have 
not funded your Exchequer-bills. 
Certainly^ I am the last man who 
would say any thing likely to pro- 
duce any effect upon the money- 
maiket, and I am very unwilling 
to aay any thing which would run 
the risk of having any effect there ; 
but I think, considering what is 
nod of the financial affairs of the 
oountry— considering the language 
which the Government itself has 
held on that subject, and consider- 
ing the state of the money-market 
-—you ought to have taken care 
that you succeeded. If you were 
deterred by any apprehensions that 
^ jou would make a worse bargain 
or make worse terms than those 
which were made by the late 
Chancellor of the Exchequer — ^if 
JOU were actuated by any feelings 
of that kind> which I fear you 
were, you should still have en- 
deavoured to carry your point, and 
not have adopted and acted upon 
a short-sighted and injudicious 

At the opening of the Session, 
Lord Ripon had made a very able 
^fieech, reprobating the Govern- 
ment of that time for resorting to 
temporary expedients. 

^' Now, could any thing be more 
completely a temporary expedient, 
en* more objectionable than this 
measure, which was the first be- 
ginning of the new Government ? 
They were getting rid of the mat- 
ter l^ the temporary and objection- 
able expedient of a loan, and add- 
hig to the Funded Debt without 
making provision to pay for the 
interest of the addition. The 

Chancellor of the Exchequer him- 
self introduced the measure to the 
House of Commons, by saying, that 
it was entirely an expedient, and 
in the highest degree objectionable. 
Viscount Melbourne did not object 
to it now; but it was a little 
curious that this Government hav- 
ing censured the late Government 
for such a course, the first of its 
own acts should be what was ad- 
mitted to be so entirely temporary 
and objectionable." 

Lord Ripon had talked of the 
^Mmraense difficulties" of the coun- 
try, and the phrase had been re- 
peated with interest in the House 
of Commons ; admitting that there 
were difficulties, it was an exagge- 
ration, to say, that the finances of 
the country were immensely in- 
volved. It was neither correct in 
fact, nor wise or prudent to hold 
the language of despondency, 
which must of itself tend to 
weaken the resources of the coun- 
try. If these difficulties were so 
immense, they ought to be taken 
into immediate consideration ; and 
at any rate, where was the neces- 
sity for delay ? The present Go- 
vernment had the same task as the 
last — either to lessen the expendi- 
ture or to increase the revenue. 
The proposition was very plain; 
there was no mystery. What were 
they looking for? Surely they 
were not looking for the philoso- 
pher's stone > As to the attend- 
ance of Peers, let but the Duke of 
Wellington give notice that he was 
going to bring forward a motion 
about the Corn-laws, and at any 
given time he would answer for h, 
there would be an ample attend- 
ance of Members both of that House 
and of the House of Commons. 

The Earl of Ripon was always 
well-disposed to listen to the noble 
Viscount in a jocular strain, and 

£221 ANNUAL REGISTEB, 1841. 

iKit less 80 even when eonie of his 
wit was directed against himself; 
hut he did not suppose it would 
he expected of him that he should 
now enter into any arguments in 
defence of a speech which Vis- 
count Melhoume had had a fuU 
opportunity of answering at the 
time when it was made, hut which 
he had not chosen to answer till 
the present occasioui and then in 
a manner which seemed to him 
(Earl Ripon) hy no means con- 
clusive. It was a mistake to say 
that the present measure was a 
failure : the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer* it was truOi hod not ob- 
tained tiXi the five millions^ hut he 
had ohtained a million more than 
enough to cover the deficiency. 
Although the late Government 
stood judged to bring forward 
certain measures, it did not follow 
that their successors were bound 
to strike out oS«hafld some new 
plan of Finance. Besides, all that 
the late Chanoellor of the Exche- 
quer expected to raise by his 
measures was 1,700,000/. ; so that 
he would still have had to raise 
700,000/. hy loan. 

The Duke of Well ington thanked 
Viscount Melbourne for his sug- 
gesti(»n as to the mode of obtaining 
a large attendance of Members in 
the House, but he would never an- 
nounce any intention which he did 
not entertain : 

'* I have no intention of bring- 
ing forward a scheme for the alter- 
ation of the Corn -laws, I have 
not the power of doins so : I have 
nut sufficiently considered these 
measures, and therefore I will not. 
t decline to announce any such 
intention to the House ; and I beg 
to suggest to the noble Viscount, 
that if he wishes to collect a num- 
ber of Peers, he must propose some 
other scheme/' 

The deficiency t£ two mUim 
and a half wat aoi tki mimt 
amount of the anrean to h» 
vided fcNT. Demands w^m 
upon the Treasury fvom At Goiou 
nies and elsewhere >«* 

He found that, what wtUi HBs 
from the Colonies find thi iwii 
from the East, from Cwmim, atti 
elsewhere, there waa a IM17 lime 
outstanding acoountj wMdi bad 
never been reckoned lit idl ih tk 
statement of the Biidylb and 
which, with the other uddiltoM ke 
had namedi besides olliar it«M» 
had to be added to tbt dadNsd 
deficiency of 2,500A)00/. ? Mfii». 
over, if he had not been MUe- 
formed, there was a ninehar af 
orders which had been imft^ fit 
carrying out a variety ef fUs^ 
which were not reckane4t but iD 
of which most be taksn lute eott- 
sideration brfore eny Oimiipmeet 
oould pretend to Gome befcw Ae 
country and state whet wooM k 
the permanent expenditure* 

Lord Brougham bope4 that Ike 
Government would be pieyeied 
soon after the re^aafwaiMim <rf 
Parliamenti to enter on the eoa- 
sideration of the Com end Plre- 

The Bill was then read a 


A few days afterwards the Ead ef 
Radnor revived the diacwnioQi al- 
luding to the Duke of Wellinglon's 
declaration that he had no altar- 
aiion to propose in the Conwlaws, 
which lie understood aa a general 
assertion of the intention of die 
Government to propose no ehange 
in those laws, lie thought that 
such a declaration was mculaled 
to excite serious feelingi of dit- 
satisfactioninthepuUicmiDd. He 
enlarged also unon the distrev of 
the country, ana said he thought 
the Government were *»— flir'ng a 



Mi){eat]r to turn a deaf ear to the 
prayers of the people^ and to send 
Parliament about its business. 

The Duke of Wellington repro- 
bated the disorderly practice of 
feferring to former debates^ and 
oomplained that be had been com- 
pletely misrepresented in the pre- 
•ent instance. 

^' Now« if the noble Earl had 
attended closely to what passed, 
and had remembered it accurately, 
lie would have known, and of 
course would have said, that it 
was not I, but the noble Viscount 
lately at the head of the Govern- 
ment, who had referred to the 
autject, when he said that if I 
would give notice of a motion for 
an alteration of the Corn-laws, I 
sliould soon secure a full attend- 
luioe in both Houses of Parliament. 
My answer to that was, * I will 
not announce any intention which 
I do not entertain, in order to 
aecure a full attendance of Mem* 
bars. I am sure the noUe Vis- 
count will admit the correctness 
of that statement, and that what 
I referred to was the attendance 
of Members in the present session 
of Parliament. I am sure the 
noUe Viscount could not mean 
that the notice was to be given 
to secure a full attendance in six 
nM>nt|is* time, or any distant period. 
(*' Hear, hear ! '* from Viscount 
jilctboume,) I admit that such a 
notice now would bring a full 
attendance in both Houses; but 
what I meant to convey and stated 
was, that I am not prepared at the 
preseni time to bring forward any 
motion for a revision of the Corn- 

The subject required to be con- 
sidered in all its bearings on Com- 
meroe and Finance, ana other im- 
portant matters, with which it was 

connected by the late Government, 
He had certainly onee brought in 
a bill to establish the present law ; 
but he found it necessary to renew 
his information on the subject* 
He had at different times since 
discussed the question, and had 
endeavoured to refresh his memory 
on the subject hy the perusal of 
important documents connected 
with the principle on which it was 
founded. He did possess some 
knowledge of the subject ; but he 
must say that it stood in a dif- 
ferent light now from what it did 
when he Drought it forward twelve 
or thirteen years ago$ and those 
who would consider it must look 
at it with deep attentiouj and not 
submit any scheme on the subject 
to that or the other House of 
Parliament, which was not ma* 
turely weighed and considered, not 
only with reference to other ques* 
tions with which it was connected 
by different motions made and dis- 
cussed in the other House of Par- 
liament, but also in reference to 
treaties between this country and 
other powers, and also the treaties 
of other powers with each other, 
and combined with these the gene* 
ral relations by which it was con- 
nected with the social system of 
this country. On these grounds 
he fully agreed that it was a mat- 
ter which should not be taken up 
in a hurry, but must be delibe- 
rately examined in all its bearings. 
He aid not deny the distress ; but 
the sitting of Parliament could not 
remedy it. The noble Earl him* 
self had stated that there had been 
lately imported into this country 
1,700,000 qu.arters of foreign com, 
and he was aware that before that 
importation there was in store 
a supply of com anu)unting to 
1,200,000 quarters— making in all 
nearly 3,000,000 quarters, besidea 

224] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

the produce of the harvest^ which 
was now got in. From these facts 
he concluded that there could be 
no distress arising from want of 
a sufficient supply of com. There 
was, he regretted to say, distress 
existing from want of work and 
deficiency of wages, and other 
causes, into which he would not 
then enter ; but he repeated that 
he did not know, and had not 
heard from any quarter, how Par- 
liament could remedy such evils. 
They were the results of a variety 
of causes, which Parliament could 
not remove if it sat continuously 
from now till February next. 

Lord Kinnaird expressed his sat- 
isfaction that the Duke of Welling- 
ton had given this explanation, as 
he bad understood his words in the 
same sense as Lord Radnorhaddone, 
and he was strengthened in that 
impression by the declaration which 
had been made by the Duke of 
Richmond, that the agricultural 
party, who had brought in the 
present Government, could easily 
turn them out again. 

The Duke of Richmond dis- 
avowed the declaration imputed to 
him. It had been said that Sir 
Robert Peel and his friends would 
turn round upon the agriculturists, 
as they had done upon the oppo- 
nents of the Roman Catholic Relief 
Bill, and force upon them the very 
measure they had denounced ; and 
he. had said, merely in reply to 
that argument, and not as a threat, 
that if Sir Robert Peel supported 
the Ss, fixed duty, the agricultu- 
rists, who helped him into power, 
would have no difficulty in turning 
him out. He was not one of those 
who thought that the Corn-laws 
could never be touched ; but in 
any alteration care must be taken 
to give due protection to agricul- 
ture. The discussion here ended. 

The Supplies having been gnat- 
ed, and the financid necewitiei 
provided for, the only measures of 
importance which it remained to 
carry into effi^ct during the Seaaon 
were the Bill for the better admini- 
stration of justice in tbe Court of 
Chancery, and the Poor-law Com- 
mission Continuance BilL The 
former, being merely a zeTival of 
the measure which was thrown up 
by the former Government in the 
preceding Session, as has been re« 
lated in a former chapter^ qnicUj 
passed through both Houseii 
meeting with scarcely any discus- 
sion in its way, and received the 
Royal Assent. The latter subject, 
being more closely connected with 
political interests, and afiSnding 
occasion for reference to other ex- 
isting topics of a kindred nature, 
gave rise to a good deal of desultory 
debate in the House of Commons. 

On the 21st Sept., Sir Robert 
Peel obtained leave to bring in a 
bill to continue the office of the 
Commissioners for six months only, 
viz. till 31st July, 1842. 

He did not, by proposing the 
continuation of the Commission 
for six months mean to imply any 
reflection on the determination to 
which the House might come upon 
his suggestion : he proposed it in 
conformity with the principle on 
which he had acted, namely that it 
was not desirable to call upon the 
House to discuss important matters 
of extensive bearing during the 
present Session of Parliament; en- 
tirely reserving to himself the 
power, after mature consideration, 
of making a proposal of a more 
extended character, or such other 
proposal as the Government might 
deem necessary for the public m- 
terests, when the Parliament should 
again assemble. 

Afterwards, Sir Hesketh Fleet- 



wood having expressed a hope that 
it was distinctly understood, that 
no person who voted for the motion 
implied his approval of the Poor- 
lawy Sir Robert Peel observed, that 
the present was a separate Bill, to 
continue for a given time the Poor- 
law Commission ; and he added a 
more decided caveat against med- 
dling with the ffeneral law in deal- 
ing with the Bill before the House 
—•he would at once state^ that he 
meant to oppose any amendments 
that might be brought forward in 
the discussion upon the present 
measure which would afiect the 
windple or the operation of the 
Foor-kw itself. He had already 
said he would give honourable 
gentlemen every opportunity of 
oppoaine the present measure, and 
he certainly could not prevent them 
fiom discussingamendments having 
fat their object alterations in the 
Poor-law ; but he could not per- 
mit any such amendments to be 
introduced into the present Bill, 
which was one merely for the con- 
tinuance of the Commission. * 

In the course of the discussion, 
Mr. Lefroy bore testimony to the 
generally successful working of the 
bidi Poor-law. Mr. Escott would 
not oppose the second reading of 
the Bdl> as there was not sufficient 
information before Parliament on 
which the House could fairly legis- 

Mr. Rice could not disconnect 
ihe Poor-law from the Corn-law ; 
and since Sir Robert Peel was not 
prepared to state what he should do 
wiu the Poor-law as a whole, he 
ought not to allow partial discus- 
aions of it. 

Sir Robert Peel took advantage 
of this remark to strengthen his 
position in postponing the discussion 
on the Corn-laws. 

** The honourable member oppo- 

VoL. LXXXin. 

site said that the Poor-law and Com « 
law questions ought to be settled 
together: supposing this to be 
rights it would have been his duty 
on accepting office, not merely at 
once to have brought forward a 
Bill for the adjustment of the 
Corn-laws, but to submit to the 
consideration of the House, during 
the present session of Parliament, 
all the modifications which it might 
be the intention of the Government 
to suggest respecting the permanent 
improvement of the Poor-law. 
Now he asked the House, whether 
the Government could possibly do 
justice to the Poor-law question, 
without having an opportunity of 
considering the local operations and 
bearings of that law throughout 
the country. Would it be possible 
for a Government, without avail- 
ing itself of that information which 
the Commissioners could enable 
them to procure, to take a question 
of such immense importance, upon 
which it was desirable to conciliate 
the public mind, into their imme- 
diate consideration, within a week 
of their acceptance of office ? to 
be prepared, not only with a Bill 
for the amendment of the Corn- 
law, but also with one for the 
amendment and regulation of the 
entire Poor-law ? Whatever might 
have been the intention of the 
honourable Member, a more pow- 
erful justification of the course 
pursued by the Government had 
not yet been made." 

On the House going into Com- 
mittee on the Bill a few days after- 
wardH, Mr. R. Yorke, one of the 
Members for York, moved an in- 
struction to the Committee, to the 
effect that the Poor-law Com- 
missioners should not be empower- 
ed to enforce separation between 
man and wife, except where the 
application for relief arose from 

226] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

idlenen, vice, or crime. He quoted 
the injunction of Scripture against 
separating those whom God had 
joined together, and called onMem- 
hers on the Ministerial side to act 
up to their pledges given on the 

Sir James Graham^ feeling the 
great importance of this subject, 
excused himself from following the 
last speaker into the merits of his 
argument, lest he should be obliged 
in like manner to discuss other 
proposals of detail, and tkus defeat 
the very object of the present Bill, 
which was simply to postpone the 
whole consideration of the measure 
until the Government should have 
had time to weigh it carefully, and 
to mature such remedies as might 
be necessary for particular defects 
and evils. On the present proposal 
he would only observe, that the 
separation complained of was not 
a novelty introduced by the Poor* 
law Amendment Act* 

Mr. Stuart Wortley, approving 
what had been stated by Sir James 
Graham, suggested to Mr. Yorke 
that his perseverance would place 
those who wished to support him 
in a difficult position. He himself 
was reluctant to vote against the 
instruction, and yet he felt the in- 
convenience of ingrafting it upon 
a mere Bill of temporary continu- 
ance. Either they ought to discuss 
and remodel the whole Poor-law 
now, or they ought to confine them- 
selves to the mere prolongation of 
the Commission. He was not 
shrinking from his own pledges ; 
he would deliver his opinions fully 
when the subject should be regu- 
larly before the House. The 
only instruction among those an- 
nounced which was fit to be now 
considered, was that which went 
to forbid the formation of new 
Unions in the mean time. 

Mr. V. Smith Mid, tiMibmu 
great measures woto to he diMMni 
this Session, the Poor-hiw mii^ 
as well be postpooad as tha mt 
He thought, however, thil tkt 
Government were boond et oan to 
state whether the/ weie pmaiad 
to continue the CommiMion. 

Sir Robert Peel said, tbafc Om 
was the preose courae iotendii ts 
have been adopted hy the late 
Government : when thiqr leiiad it 
was too late to proceed with the 
consideration of the Ponp-kir, 
they had been prepaiedtoeotttimif 
the Commission for one year. 

Mr. Pakington depreoitri ttt 
acrimonious spirit in whidi the 
debate had been carried on by the 
Opposition. He beliered thai the 
regulation to which the uamami 
instruction referred w$/7Sm 
into e&ct not only in the GSbiKt 
Unions, but in every weU-nguhitai 
workhouse throughout the Jkipg- 
dom. He believed that no Goeim* 
ment ever enjoyed more ef .the 
confidence of the eountiy than the 
present; but if anything miU 
shake that confidence^ it wooU be 
their consenting hastily to go into 
the discussion into which we Op- 
position by their factious pcooMo- 
ings tried to force them. He be* 
lieved, that with respect to the 
Poor-law, as well as emfaanaaed 
finances and depressed trader the 
country was in a very critical atale: 
he believed that the history of the 
year 1841 would be found to be a 
complete blank as regarded uiefiil 
legislation, and tluit hereafter 
public attention would come to be 
forcibly directed to thia fiiet : but 
to whom would they attribute such 
an extraordinary rceult ? Not to 
her Majesty's present Groveranent. 
No, they would attach the oauae 
of all this to the former Govero- 
ment, who, instead of gifii^ their. 



fttl«Kkm> in the lagt year of their 
Ifeolding (Mfiee» to the means of re- 
mmng the eadsting distress, had 
pvrferm to derote themselves to a 
'deafente attempt to keep np their 
own power. He had never heen 
an enemy to the Poor-law, and he 
must give his testimony to its use- 
ful tendency, and to the praise- 
worthy manner in which, for the 
VMMtpart, their powers had heen 
ttseiuised by the Commissioners. 
He exhorted the House to discuss 
the subject in another session with 
snore freedom from party-spirit, 

Mr. C. BuUer thought that the 
Ministers had acted wisely in pro- 
jweingthe simple continuance of 
the inenute» until there t^ould be 
tuna for careful and deliberate dis- 
enwon. To him it appeared, that 
if they must take the instruction 
«f dui honourable Member for 
YoKk, they ought to go into the 
whole of the Act from the begin- 
wiiig to the end ; and then, with 
diligence, they might, by continu- 
sng their sittings tUl this time next 
yeari make some approach to a con- 
diUBon of the undertaking. He 
aoaroely believed that any one of 
the clauses would escape : he be- 
Ui^red that there would be amend- 
ments moved upon every line of 
everir clause. He commented on 
the inconsistency of some Conser- 
Tative Members who had made 
Whement professions of hostility 
to the Poor-law on the hustings, 
which they now seemed to have 

On a division, the instruction 
moved hy Mr. Yorke was rejected 
hf 187 to 36. 

Mr. Sherman Crawford after- 
wards moved another instruction 
to the Committee in a speech of 
great length, in which he dwelt 
upon most of the objections usually 
urged against the new system by 

its opponents. SpedfyiAg six prin- 
cipal matters of grievance, via. the 
separation of families; arbitrary 
punishment, and too severe discip- 
line ; harshness to the aged ; bad 
food ; difficulty of obtaining ad- 
mission into the workhouse j and 
the mixture of the virtuous with 
the profligate; he illustrated these 
evils at considerable length by 
specifying particular cases of abuse 
which had occurred both in Eng- 
land and in Ireland; in which latter 
country, he said, the measure was 
more vicious and oppressive than 
in England, He concluded by 
moving, that it be an instruction to 
the Committee: 

'' That it shall not be lawful for 
the Commissimiersa from the date 
of the passing of this Bill, to de- 
clare the formation of any new 
Unions in districts which are not 
already placed under the operation 
of the act 4th and 5th William IV, 
c 76." 

Mr, Busfield Ferrand seconded 
the motion in a speech of consider, 
able warmth and vehemence. He 
identified the Poor-law with the 
Factory-system. He believed it 
had originated in a deep laid design 
between the rich cotton-spinners of 
Lancashire and the Poor-law Com- 
missioners. He inveighed in strong 
terms against the Anti Corn-law 
League, their agitators and lectu- 
rers, for trying to set landlords and 
farmers against each other. It 
would be &nnd upon enquiry that 
the proprietors of large estates set 
the very best example by their con*^ 
duct towards the suffering poor; 
while the manufacturers made 
large fortunes by the sweat of their 
labourers. He quoted reports and 
returns to show the great mortality 
prevailing in the manufacturing 
districts, and retorted in strong 
terms upon the mill-owners the 

CQ 2] 

228] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

charges of inhumanity and avarice 
which they had hrought against 
the landlords. 

Sir James Graham said^ that the 
measure hefore the House did not 
pledge any one to the maintenance 
of the Poor-law in its present state ; 
hut -without the superintending 
care at the Commissioners for the 
next lix months, the whole man- 
agement of the poor would he 
thrown into inextricahle confusion. 
With respect to the local Acts, as 
the law at present remained, no 
power exist^ to- substitute the 
Poor-law where the Gilbert Unions 
were already in force. He called 
upon the House to put confidence 
in the control which the Execu- 
tive would exercise over the Com- 
missioners. Within the last six 
weeks, the Commissioners, yielding 
very judiciously to public opinioui 
had made considerable relaxations 
of the law. He then read an order 
which had been lately issued, in- 
volving some very important miti- 
gations in the rule against out-door 
relief. After specifying some other 
instances of a disposition to act in 
a lenient spirit on the part of the 
Commissioners, he concluded by 
calling on the House to lend him 
their support in resisting the in- 
troduction of amendments. 

Mr. Mark Phillips vindicated 
the manufacturers against the 
charges which had been made 
against them by Mr. Ferrand. 

Mr. Wakley in a speech of some 
length declared his irreconcileable 
objection to the entire system in- 
troduced by the New Poor-law. 
He thought that it was fraught 
with danger to the country. It 
was his belief, that if the House 
adhered to the law as it at present 
stood — ^if its provisions were not 
considerably mitigated — the coun- 
try would be stained with blood. 

He mixed with people belflnghig 
to all classes of societj; he was 
conversant with their cnpinioiis; 
and it was the belief of the gntt 
majority of the ooantcj that die 
Poor-law was not only inhmnan in 
its nature, but anti-ChristiaQ ; ytt, 
he would repeat, it was aiiti*CfaiiiU 
ian— and that it had its oripn m 
selfishness, the most destractife 
feeling that could be engendend 
by the human mind. He did not 
believe, that the Poor-law ongiii* 
ated in a feelbg of selfishnev: it 
sprang from ignorance of the eon* 
dition of the poor. He hoped the 
House would approach Uie safajest 
in a Christian spirit, and not take 
it up on the dogmas of the UtiB* 
tarians, who would sacrifice efsij* 
thing for the purpose of s^pMiiog 
their principles, even to the giin£ 
ing the bones of the poor into dost 
wherewith to manure the soSL 

Mr. Crawford's instruction to die 
Committee having been rejected Int 
131 to 49, he moved a seoond, 
the object of which was to limit 
the powers of the Commiasioiien 
with respect to disallowing oot-door 
relief. This motion, however, was 
rejected like the former one hj a 
large majority. The hill then went 
through the Committee and passed; 
a motion by Mr. Fielden on the 
third reading, that it should he 
read on that day three months, 
having been rejected on a division 
by 133 to 18. 

All the business of immediate 
urgency which required the atten- 
tion of Parliament having been 
now despatched, nothing remained 
to delay the prorogation, whidi 
took place on the 7th October; the 
Lords Commissioners beine the 
Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Wel- 
lington, the Duke of Buckingham, 
the £arl of Shaf^bury, and L.ord 
WharncliflTe. The Speaker and 



the House of Commons having 
been summoned to the har of the 
House of LfOrds^ the Lord Chan- 
cellor read the following speech. 

" My Lords and Gentl^neti-^ 
*' We are commanded hv her 


Majesty to acquaint you that it 
appears advisahle to her Majesty to 
bring to a close the present session 
of Parliament. 

. '* In conformity with the advice 
of her Parliament, and in pursu- 
ance of the declared intentions of 
lier Majesty, her Majesty has taken 
the requisite measures for the form- 
ation of a new Administration^ 
md the arrangements for that pur- 
wase have been completed by her 

** Gentlemen of the House of 

'' We have it in command from 
her Majesty to thank you for the 
Supplies which you have granted 
to her Majesty for those branches 
of the public service for which 
complete provision had not been 
made by the late Parliament. 

" My Lords and Gentlemen'-^ 

*' The measures which it will be 
expedient to adopt for the purpose 
of equalizing the public income 
and the annual expenditure^ and 
other important objects connected 
with the trade and commerce of 
the country, will necessarily occupy 
your attention at an early period 
after the recess. 

^'Her Majesty has commanded 
us to repeat the expression of her 
deep concern at the distress which 
has prevailed for a considerable 
period in some of the principal 
manufacturing districts, and to 
assure you that you may rely upon 
the cordial concurrence of her 
Majesty in all such measures as 
shall appear, after mature consid- 
eration, best calculated to prevent 
the recurrence of that distress, 
and to promote the great object 
of all her Majesty's wishes, the 
happiness and contentment of all 
her people." 

The Lord Chancellor then de- 
clared Parliament to be prorogued 
to the 11th November next* 



France. — State of Public Opinion in France, and sUuaiian jjf Pwrii0» 
— Addresses presented to the Kins on the Jour de YAxk^F^Chntiiyj^ 
reception of the Cler^ — Replt^ of the King — Financial StaitwmU qf 
M. Humann in the Chamber of Deputies-^Account givem if Um^ 
the different branches of the Public Revenues ana ihebr srioimf 
produce — Official Statement of the Assets and UabUUies iff Ac BmA 
of France — Convictioft and Imprisonment of the Abh4de lAimmffmk 
for publishing a Seditious Pamphlet — War-party advoaUe an ffWmy 
with Russia — Conduct of France towards Spain — Speech pf.M^ GMf* 
z(^ in the Chamber of Peers on the Subfect^^Note addrethd fa JIf 
Guizot to M. Ferrer, Minister for Foreign Affairs of ^paw« •» 
Answer to the Manifesto of Queen Christina — Question of the FmU* 
Jications round Paris — Appointment qfa Commiitee to Bqmi em ike 
Subject — Report drawn up by M. Thiers — Discussion, thereupm m 
the Chamber of Deputies — Speeches qf MM. Carn/oty Thiers^ M^' 
shal SouUi M, Guiaol, and others — Amendment proposed fty GeBtnd 
Schneider for erecting Works on a less extensive scale op/pued Im M* 
Chiizot, and negatived — Bill for fortifying Paris passed-^^BOt on 
iroduced by the Minister of Finance {M. Humann) demanibif 
Credits — Speech qf M, Humann — Forged Letters imputed to Loins 
PhiHppe — Prosecution of French Journals for pubtiskbtg ik tm^* » 
Exeouiion of Darmes the Regicide — Discon^nl throughoui Frmmoe, 
and serious Disturbances in the Provinces on account of the pressure 
of Taxation — Riots at Toulouse^ Lyons^ and other places — M^tmrh^ 
ances in Paris — Attempt to Assassinate the Duke d^Aumale <M Ms 
return from Africa-^Seizure of Quenisset the Assassin — Accauni of 
the '* Comniunistes" — Trial and Condemnation of Qu4nisset and ksM 
Accomplices — Trial and Conviction of M. Dupoty, Editor of ike 
Journal du Peuple — Government Prosecutions of the Press tn 
France — Treaty for the Suppression qf the Slave Trade signed m 
London between France and the other great Powers of Europ^^^ 
Account of the State of external Commerce of France, published hjf 
the Administration qf Customs, 

THIS year opened with better have given the history in our pn* 

auspices for the peace of £u- ceding volume. True it ia^ that 

rope than could have been antici- the feelingof bitter hostility agaiiut 

pated, from the conduct and atti- England was still fostered and en* 

tude of France ever since the couraged by the violent language 

execution of the treaty of the 15th of an incendiary press, mOLy to 

of July, at London^ of which we borrow the words df a oontempo* 



nry wiittr, " the feeling amongst 
aD dasses was one of anger and 
exasperatkm* Carlisle^ Juste Mi<* 
lieo> Centres^ Doctrinaires, and all 
the Tarieties of the Gauche, seemed 
to share it equally 5 and the pro- 
TfneiBl fi^ess was beyond measure 
tfadent and exciting. The Cham- 
ber was in a state of decomposition- 
is to portiet. The Foreign Minis- 
ter (M • Ointot) was unpopular ; 
and amifbt all this the Court was 
ttnAeqdottmg and working for its 
own purposes." The clouds, in- 
ieedf vested on the horiaon, and it 
was impossible to predict how soon 
tke oxaled peMions of the French 
might precipitate a war ; but there 
wm many leaaons for believing, 
IhMl this ailaaity would be averted, 
ml thai, on a mistaken point of 
hmiom, Franoe would not throw 
•way ikt scabbard and commence 
a altilMte^ hi which she most have 
iload aloiie, against all the other 
giMl Powers Si Europe* 

1b the first place, the question 
of the evaeoation of Syria, and 
ionender of that country to its 
li^fid Sovereign, the Sultan, had 
fceoome unfaH aceempH; and a 
coMiderabie interval had elapsed 
ifaMe Eagbud, Austria, Prussia, 
aaii RusMy hod begun to em^^oy 
Ibtvt ogamt the rebellious and 
ohatiiurie Paa ha of £gypt> without 
my overt act of hostility on the 
past of France. She had threat- 
emei, and showti every disposition 
to go to war, by sncreasin^ her 
afwiwionts, both by sea and laad, 
OP o pm digio m scale ; but hitherto 
her sngvr had been confined to 
audi dsmoBitrations, and unless 
9&me now and unexpected event 
oecuned to give her a pretext fer 
dodaving war, it was impossible 
Ibr kar to do soon acaonnt of any' 
dMiif wUA had talasn plaee up to 
dw tfaM, ha ccmiofuoace of the 

signature of the firunow Conven- 
tion. In the second place, the 
Cabinet of M. Thiers had been 
compelled to give way on this very 
war'^question, and it had been suc- 
ceeded by the Soult-Guizot Mi* 
nistry, whose views were much 
more pacific than those of their 
predecessors j and the character of 
the Minister for Foreign Atfairs 
was itself a guarantee, that the 
voice of moderation and reason 
would prevail in the Councils of 
the King. Nor was the least trust* 
worthy security for the peace of 
Europe to be found in the known 
disposition and temper of Lottie 
Philippe. He was strongly averse 
to committing Fmnce in an iso* 
lated contest with the other great 
Monarchies of Europe, and was 
anxious especially to cultivate 
friendly relations with his power^ 
ful neighbour •«— Great Britain. 
England herself threw no fuel on 
the fiame of discord between the 
two countries, and her calm and 
dignified conduct under the insult- 
ing menaces of the French JQtir« 
nalists,— cef affreux silence desAH" 
glais, as it was on another occasion 
not inaptly called -^contributed, 
perhaps, more than anything else, 
to avert the catastrophe of a gene- 
ral war in Europe. 

Upon the whole, therefore, there 
was good reason for believing thai 
the irritated jealousy oi Franco 
would not lead her into any greater 
folly than that of heeping op, at 
an enormous cost, une pmx atmii, 
and indulging in grandiloquent 
language about the nationid ho« 
noBT smd dignity, while she stood 
aloof from the attempts that wero 
made to conciliate her wounded 
pridel»y the other European Powers^ 
who were sincerely desiroua to eul-' 
tivate friendly relationo with thai 
great and powerful 

232j ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

At the commencement of the 
new year, the principal public 
functionaries and deputations from 
the various scientiiic and other 
bodies waited upon the King, to 
present their congratulations on 
the Jour dc VAn, Their addresses 
were, as might be expected, highly 
eulogistic ; but although, under or- 
dinary circumstances, they might 
be passed over as a mere inter- 
change of mutual compliments, 
they on this occasion derived im- 
portance^ as eliciting from Louis 
Philippe an expression of his pacific 
sentiments. He seemed anxious to 
disavow the charge that France 
was '* a cause of perturbation in 
the midst of Europe/' and made 
use of strong language against the 
violent menaces of the war-party^ 
who appeared to desire confusion, 
in order to subvert the throne. 

In connection with these ad- 
dresses, there was one circum- 
stance of a very interesting nature. 
For the first time since 1830, 
the Archbishop of Paris, accom- 
panied by his clergy, waited on 
King Louis Philippe, to congratu- 
late his Majesty on the occasion of 
the new year. Some difficulties 
had arisen respecting the order 
which the clergy should occupy 
among the great bodies of the state 
whicli the King was to receive on 
that day. The Courts however 
anxious to assign them the first 
rank, could not do so, for fear of 
exciting displeasure and incurring 
the censures of the press. The 
only laws which regulate the cerC" 
monial of such reception were 
enacted under the Republic, and 
they place the clergy last of all. 
Hiis course was equally objection- 
able, and it was accordingly agreed 
that the Archbishop should be re- 
eeived at the Palace on the Slst of 

The prelate, after thanking Pro- 
vidence, in the Speech wbrn be 
addressed to the King, for '^ hiv- 
ing made him twice taste the 
sweetest joys the heart of a father 
could feel," and in '' extending its 
protection over him on the ooea- 
sion of the last attempt againit \m 
life," fervently prayed Heaven to 
continue its blessings to him and 
his august family, to avert ftr em 
the calamities by which it was re- 
cently visited, to allaj die s fniinni^ 
and to render France atr(ta|^.aiid 
more prosperous, by rendenng her 
children more united. 

The King returned the fbUow- 
ing reply : — 

'' I receive with much satisfiM- 
tion the expression of jour wieiM 
and those of the clergy of Flaik 
It is gratifying for me to see 70a 
assembled around me. TUb 
the object of mj long and 
desire, and jou know that I 
with eagerness every occaaoaibr 
proving to you mj deteraunation 
to surround the clergy with that 
high consideration which I wish 
them so ardently to poeaeae. . No- 
thing shall cause a relaxation of 
my endeavours to defend religioB> 
and cause it to be respected. The 
more the task of govenujnc is dif- 
ficult, the more it standi in need 
of the moral support and co-opera- 
tion of all those who desire the 
maintenance of order and the reign 
of the laws. That moral anppoct 
and co-operation are partinuaily 
indispensable to prevent the ra« 
newid of those odious attempt^ 
respecting which you have ex* 
pressed yourself in a manner whidi 
much iUSected me. That moral 
support and co-operation of all 
honest men will impart to my 60* 
vemment the strength neoeasazj 
for the accompHshmentof thedodes 
which it is called upmi tofidfilj 



and I place among the first of those 
duties that of causing religion to 
be cherished, of combating im- 
moralitf, and of showing to the 
world, despite of all that the re- 
vilers of France may say, that re- 
spect for religion, morality, and 
virtue, is still amongst us the feel- 
ing of the immense majority.*' 

On the 30lh of December, M. 
Humann, the Minister of Finance, 
presented in the Chamber of De- 
puties his financial statement for 
1842^ and after some preliminary 
obaenrations said, " In applying 
for the credit necessary for the 
eatimates of 1842, we have stated 
that, independently of our acci- 
dental wants, the public revenue, 
in spite of its progressive increase, 
was no longer equal to the ordi- 
nary expenditure of the state. In 
addition to this expenditure the 
Chambershave voted400,000,000f. 
foot works of public utility, which 
have suooesssively absorbed the 
funds which were left disposable 
by the sinking-fund. These votes 
have at length reached the pre- 
sumed amount of the annual re- 
serve. We have also to meet 
extraordinary expense which may 
certainly be modified by events, or 
by the resolutions of the Chambers, 
but which we must at the present 
moment bring into our calcula- 
tion, and whidi shows a deficiency, 
although reduced by a special law, 
as to the outlay for the army and 
navy, of 500,000,000f. We are 
also not to lose sight of the fact, 
that the treasury has to support 
another excess of 256,000,000f., 
arising from estimates anterior to 
1838, and which has partly ab- 
sorbed the resources of the floating 

M. Humann then stated, that 
the totial amount of the ordinary 
and extraordinary expenses for the 

year 1842 would, according to his 
estimation, exceed l,316,000,000f. 
(52,640,000/. sterling). The gross 
income he took at l,162,000,000f. 
(46,480,000/. sterling) thus show- 
ing a deficit of 154,000,000f. 
(6,160,000/.) *« To meet the ex- 
traordinary expenses called for by 
the present isolated situation of 
France,*' said M. Humann, ^'and 
to continue the great public works 
already commenced, I proposer- 
first, to devote to the extinction of 
the deficits of the yearsl840, 1841, 
and 1842, the reserve or surplus 
of the sinking fund from and after 
the year 1842; and secondlv, that 
the Government be authonsed to 
contract a loan of 450,000,000f. 
for the completion of those great 
works undertaken by the Depart- 
ments of War, Marine, and Public 
Works." He added, that ''his 
intention was to spread the expense 
of those works over a certain 
number of years," and that ** he 
would shortly submit to the Cham- 
ber a special prqfet de Id with that 
object." The Minister of Finance 
alsD stated, that he proposed avail- 
ing himself of a reserved fund of 
120,000,000f. actually in the trea- 
sury, in order to avoid the neces^ 
sity for contracting a loan under 
disadvantageous circumstances; and 
concluded an elaborate speech by 
laying before the Chamber a 
statement of the burdens and 
revenues of the State. He said 
that the Budget then presented 
exceeded by 190,000,000f. that 
which had been voted in the last 
session ; and that with regard 
to the mass of expenses, which 
amounted to l,316,000,000f., the 
proceeds of the public revenues^ 
estimated at l,162,000,000f., ac* 
cording to the results of the yea^ 
just then finished, showed an in« 
sufficiency of IbiflOOfiQOt., and if 

a34] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

removing from the Budget all 
extraordinarj charges, they cal- 
culated the expenses on a peace 
footings the deficiency in the 
ways and means^ would still be 
64,000^000f. without including the 
interests and the sinking fund (^ the 
new rentes, which Ministers then 
proposed to the Chamber to create. 
The following account was then 
mren, by M. Humann^ of the dtf- 
rerent. branches of the public re- 
irenues and their probable produce 
for 1842: ''The amount of the 
four direet ocmtributions lor 1842 
k estimated at S96flM,6lOi,, of 
which 286,0SO,110f. are for the 
general purposes of the Budget^ 
and 110,024,500f. for depart* 
menial and communal expenses; 
this valuation exceeds that of the 
Budget of 1841 by 5,377,800f. 
The produce of the indirect taxes 
are as follow. The payment on 
registrations and on bonds produced 
in 1840 the sum of 192,845,400f.^ 
whidi k 6,000,000f. more than in 
the year preceding. In the pro- 
ject of law on the receipts of 1840 
we intend to propose fresh dis- 
positimis, in order to r^ulate the 
duty payable on the transmission 
of c^cesy from which we calculate 
on an increase to the revenoe of 
800,000f. The Stamp-duty is not 
ao productive as it ought to be in 
proportion to the increase of busi* 
Mis; thtf branch of the immue 
will have the attention of the 
Government^ in order to derive 
from it more advanti^> and to 
prevent the Ihiuds which now 
rmder H so unproductive. We 
\mf9 now entered the receqits of 
the Stmp-ibtiea at the mam of 
S4,SS0»060il, which wasthe aamont 
reeeived in 183&. A decnaie of 
CaSsiOOOf.^lsfQrentnin the pndooo 
of the: dnwHwni and the p t opta c ty 

We shall, however, in tiie course 
of 1842^ realise a part of the price 
of the Salt-works In tlie Baal. 
The produce of the foests of the 
State is borne on the Budget fnr 
the sum of 30,d42,500f.» the nme 
as it was valued at in 1841 . The 
other productionf of tiie foreats 
and the fisheries are valued at 

'' The Custom and Solt-dotica 

in 1840 increased to 181»000,000f.; 

and although the receipts of 1840 

were increased 4^000,000f. by dM 

accidental hnporti^on ef isiiB^n 

com, the renewal of which is net 

to be denred^ we do not think w« 

shall err in estimattDg die lecripla 

for 1842 at a sfanikr naoom. 

The low price ef com, whibl it 

excludes the neeeanty ef hnporfcfarg 

foreign ctMrOymust promote at con- 

sumption of other artidea wliA 

vield a revenue to the mUw 

Treasury. The law ef Jo^ hMi 

reUtive to sugans feenni to no 

more than an eqoivaknt fer tiM 

4,000,000f. in qocstkm. Tko to* 

direct taxea have been iiiiiiinnwi 

upon what oceoncd in IMO ; hnt 

as regards beet-rool sugu^^ we hstno 

thought it right, in conaoQneneo off 

the progressive devdofiniont of 

that industry, to add 8^000^000 

of kik^iammes to the innoilitj 

yielded by the kat harfost^ vlnA 

amounted to 24,000^000 of kiloi^ 

grammes. We estimatB tki^ tim 

new dnty of 2S€ and the diiiiino 

will praducooioce^iUf 7y4a5,00QC. 

Gidcolaled upon o qunnli^ off 

27*000,000 of kU€gionHM% whUkp 

added to the 80,000^000 fnmidiii 

by eaudc sugars^ will 

of 107,000,000. We 

&ff isMiiEeet tacMi^ no< 

tobacco %nd gunpowder, a 

receipt ef 13»,nQjO0O£ Unto 

wenM be from MgOOO^OOOft In 

40^000,0001: nMO if oi flao 



ead ct 1880 the dutiei upon 
BfiniMi wines, &c.j had not been 
Teduoid one*third. The sale of 
tobaeoo flirnished for 1840 a re* 
cetpt of M,458»000f.> but it is 
eonsidired that it may be estimated 
for I842at 96,000,000f., on account 
of the progres8i?e increase of con* 
sumption. We have estimated the 
receipts on the sale of gunpowder 
at the same amount as in 1840^ 
viff., 5,857«000f. We hope to 
receive from the Post-office depart- 
ment 47,025,500f., whioh is the 
amount of the receipt of the last 
twelve months* It has fallen off 
only 100,000fo which is owing to 
the arrangements made f(Mr the 
commuidcation with Comca. The 
Tianastlaatic maiLsteamers^ al- 
though preparing with great ac- 
tivityi cannot be expected to yield 
any receipts in 1842. Under the 
head of " Various/' in which are 
include the revenues of Algeria, 
we have ^«486,582f., which is an 
increase of 740,000f. upon the last 
Bndget. It has been shown, gen- 
tlemen* that the total amount of 
the ordinary receipts for 1842 are 
estimated at l,161,8d8,142f., viz.: 

Indirect taxes . . 396,054,610 
Direct taxes and re* 

venues .... 695»757>500 
Pubbc domains and 

forests .... 39>744,d00 
Various .... 30«281«5d3 


We have now, gentlemen, to speak 
iif Aa extitoranary weja and 
jMana tendered necessary by cir- 
eunaianoea. We ask 3rou far aiK 
thority to inscribe upon the great 
book of the public debt, and to 
ne«^tiate, an open loan with con., 
pembn ftr a sum of rentes neces- 
saiji l» give^ to. .the* .Treasury a 

capital of 450,000,000f. It will 
be shown to you that this sum will 
be absorbed by the public works 
which are reguired. The realiaa^ 
tion of the loan need not> however^ 
be speedy. The Treasury has a 
reserve of 120,000>000f., and it 
would not be prudent to incur a 
nayment of interest unnecessarily^ 
We have not, therefore, a^ked m 
any credit for the rentes to be 
created ; we merely apply for the 
power of creating them by n^al 
ordinance^ if it should be necessary 
to do so> subject to the legislative 
sanction of the Chambers. As to 
the nature of the rentes, the price, 
conditions of payment of the loan* 
&C.J it is necessary that you should 
leave this to the responsible minia* 
ter. Any conditions that you 
might impose on this subject would 
only be a source of embarrassment. 
Your confidence is an indispensable 
element of success. We ask you 
also for a credit of 250,000,000f. 
in Treasury bonds. If peace 
should be maintained and con- 
firmed, and everything promises 
that this will be die cas^ this re. 
source will permit us to wait for 
the negotiation of the loan until 
the public funda shall have reached 
the price which I think they ought 
to have. Thefini^ncialsysleinefa 
government ought to be the faith-* 
fttl expression of its political agrsr 
te«. The Budget which we have 
presented has been conceived in 
the spirit of the mandate of peaoa 
and conservatism, which we ac* 
cepted when I and my colleagues 
undertook the burden of public 
affairs. We should have refused 
this mandate, gentlemen, if vre 
had not a strong conviction that 
the good understanding with the 
great P^weia of Europe might be 
confirmed and maintained on hon- 
cunbfe mnI nis cenffiliami ftr eor 

236] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

oountrj. If our confidence be 
not deceiTed, a short time and few 
efforts will suffice to establish a 
durable equilibrium in our Budgets^ 
and to jrestore the prosperity of 
our finances. This, gentlemen, is 
necessary, in order that France 
may be placed in a state to main- 
tain her elevated rank among 

We subjoin, in a note, an offi- 
cial statement of the assets^ credits^ 
debts^ and liabilities of the Bank 
of France, which was published in 
pursuance of a law passed June SO, 

At the dose of the year, the 
Abb6 de Lammenais was convicted 
of publishing a seditious pamphlet ; 
and a multitude of Polytechnic 

students, and others opposed to the 
Government^ paraded the streets 
with shouts of '* Death to the 
English! Down with Guixoi!*' 
And at first it was ap^reheniSed, 
that an attempt would be made to 
prevent the seizure of the Abb^, 
and that a seriousdisturbanoe might 
ensue, but nothing of eonieqnence 
followed, and the Abb6 de Lm» 
menais quietly surrendered himsdf 
to the officers of justice^ wlio ood- 
ducted him to prison ; hit sentenee 
being a year's incarceration and a 
fine of 2,000 francs. 

We mentioned in our last ro^ 
lume/ that M. Maug^in^ on the 
discussion of the Easteni Question 
in the Chamber of DepatieBy made 
a violent speech against England 


No. l.-'AccoviiTs or tmb Bamk ev Fames 
No. 3. — AvBaioes or tab Posineira ot tsu 
No. 3. — OPBRATioirs BBAUXB0 iH in eovBSB 

No. 1.— Aoootrim 

Fnaet. €<•» 
I. SpeeiA te lutiid. including 10,964,567 f. 42 e. , of billa doe on th« 3l«t of BcGem* 

Mr, to be easned on the tut of January .• •• .. lM,2tS,t8i 

FWmcs* Cta« 
rBills of exchange diecoonted .. •• 155,876,120 5 

..Dte«n.t.«rfI«^^tllf«'?.'^'T''°!.'^*'":? «.rso..oo • 

CAdvanccenpoBitock .. •• 8,980,681 65 

ll8i0tS.841 M 

ft nflu* it«i«.»««tMt* 5 ^I'to'* in account cunent •• •• 10,046,105 SO 

•• "*'• «P»n««»* • • \ Capital of the offices . . . . . . 12;ooo;ooo 

i»i 2t|04i,tO» 10 
(Reserve (law of May 17, I8S4) in- 
4. Income, Croremment J vested in the funds (Rentes) •• 9,000,000 
Bills, and Reserve ."j Investments in Oovemment bills .. 50,173,786 80 

L Building and furmtnre of the Bank • • 4,000,000 

■ 6S,17S,rS6 Id 

d. Credits and sundries •• .. « .« .. .« «« 9nijt»n 

506,159,661 It 

No. 3.-^AvEaAOBs op tsb FdsmeMs or m 

ftUMi. Clfi 

1. Averages of the tpecie in hand (en caiMi) •• - .. .. •• •• tt4|S7i/lOO 

Francs. Cts. 
r Bills of exehange discounted .. •• l45,8Si,5S0 

2. Averages of discounts J Advances on deposits of ingots and 

andloans .; ••') bullion .. 25,044,500 

C Advances OB Government bills •• 8,916,000 

■ I ' ty«,m,Mo 
I. Avtragfiof tlioaceoimtioiinDtof thebnadMi 4» •• •• •; lOjmjm 



and the English alliance, and 
broadly proposed that France 
should seek in Russia for that ally, 
identified with herself in interest 
and policy^ which she had in vain 
sought for in Great Britain. This 
suggestion at the time appeared 
too absurd for serious confutation^ 
but so blinded was a section of the 
French nation to its true position, 
and that of Russia^ by rancorous 
hostility towards England^ that 
M. Mauguin soon found warm ad- 
vocates ror his proposition amongst 
the writers of what mav be called 
the war-party in the press. Some 
diplomatic notes of a friendly cha- 
racter, which passed at the end of 
the year between the Russian Am- 
bassador in Paris and M. Guizot, 

were magnified into an offer, on 
the part of the Czar» to form an 
alliance, offensive and defensive, 
with France, and to separate her- 
self from the other three great 
Powers, in carrying out the stipu- 
lations of the treaty of the 15th 
of July. But Russia, on this oc 
casion, seems to liave done no more 
than express, in common with the 
other European Powers, her regret 
that France should have isolated 
herself upon the question of the 
East, and her desire that an amica- 
ble understanding should continue 
to subsist between herself and that 
country.. The truth was, that the 
war-party in France, at this pe- 
riod, was so embittered against 
England, that this project of a 


vp to dccimber 31, 1840. 

Bank dumiio the lait Thabx Mouths. 


or TBE Bamk. . 

Fnncf. CU. Ttvatt* Ctt, 
rKotfs payable to bearer (not incloding 
I. Ciieulatioa •• ..•] those of the branehen) •• •• 240,294,000 o 

I BillB payable to order 1 |S68,OlO 40 

r Account Current of the Treanury •• l06,lf6,62S 51 
t. Aecountt Current i.-J Various accounii current .. .. 63,607,549 6 

C Receipts payable at sight •• •• 7,116,500 

CCapitaloftheBank 67,900,000 

S. Capital and Reserves-J lleHerve— Law of May 17, 18S4 .. 10,000,000 

C Fixed, or immoveable Renerre •» 4,000,000 

{Diridends payable 4,974,774 79 

Bills of the bianchct upon the Bank . • S 10,68 1 45 
Various accounta •• •• .• 1,181,529 3 

241,662,010 40 

176,890,666 57 


6,966,985 21 
506,759,662 II 

Bank ourino thi ust Thabb Months. 

Francs. Cts* 

. a«.»^/««4i.«<.i^»i.«i«n 5 Bills payable to bearer .. •• .• 293,949,000 o 

I. ATcrage of the circulation . . Jbju, JJJ^^j^ ^^ ^rder Miolooo 


{Those of the Treasury 115,784,500 

Various 68,958,500 

Receipts payable at sight 9,49l,ooo o 


238] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Riuiiim aUiance was put forward 
Qiore to annoj, if possible. Great 
Britain, tban with any idea that 
It would be carried into efiecti or 
even serionsly contemplated. 

We stated in our last volume 
that the £x-Queen-Regent of 
Spain* Queen Christina had, after 
auitting that kingdom, taken re- 
ftige in France, and had been 
rec^ved in Paris with the utmost 
cordiality by the King and other 
members of the Royal family. It 
was generally supposed that the 
rdationship which subsisted be- 
tvreen her and the family of Louis 
Philippe, disposed that monarch 

to espouse her side of thft qimvel 
between herself and Genaiil £•- 
partero more warmly thaa was 
either prudent or josdfiaUa^ «nd 
at the sitting of the ChmriM of 
Peers, oo the 4ih of JantMry, this 
year, — the order of the dtj bmng 
the discussion on the hQl for a 
credit of 700 fiOQf. hi fiiwnir of 
foreign refugees, — M. da NoaiOes 
took the opportunity of wMuring 
the ipolkj <KMenrri towards Spain, 
as being caleulatod to dtttioy 
French influence in that couBtry, 
and throw it into tha aima of 
England. No one, ha Bai49 abauld 
presume to dicuta to Spaisb fiur 

No. a.*— OptaATiOM 


I. Tke ^liseoirali, adfuieet, tsd loans hvrt 

^^iv vrffP w ^ncdiKiiKv •• •« •• •• ao 

ooi.6oi...dbuiu<«|grJS;J2:^J?:r:J •• 

On Government billt 
On Mint oiden 

Francii. Cts. Ftaaet. Cti. 



2. Aocoants of the Receipts and Disbursements of the AccoaQto CKnntat* 

Various.— Receipts* 1,232,653,800 

Expends 1,310,370,000 

S^9,flit,l0t • 

Of the Treasury.— Receipts 

• ♦ 




ifc <ilW ■ 

• On the payments eflbeted by bills on the Above acconnti eatieot, 189,799 bills were Teeebed at 
sight, amounting to 997,31 7 ,IOof. 

Result or the OnuuTKHfs op tbb Bank of 

De. Vnmm, CNk 

^rt It Szpenses of management, Ac •• •• •* .. •, 479,9IS 9T 

2. Discount and interest belonging to tlie next six months •, •• •• A6S,99S 53 

3. Preminois on gold for the balance of the above a«!eaoBt ,. •• •• ifS^a H 

4. AnffCMiltoie Bnaeh •• 83,9t< 99 

5. OHno^ Branch • 91^9 99 

Balance of profits • •• ..4,797,799 99 

5,995,991 94 


Snoiih pride woidd not sufibr denying the piirt which the Go- 

dictatioii ; hot the Government vemment had hitherto acted as na- 

shoold alloir ao occasion of ex- sards the political events of Spun. 

evoMing a just influence to pass by. When Spain had assumed a form of 

It should lemember, that as £ng- government which had the national 

land had separated herself from assent, France eagerly recognised 

Fiance, and had undertaken to it, and having done so, supported it 

settle the Egyptian question, she whenever, hy civil war or otherwise 

might next do the same as to Spain, it was endangered. France sent to 

M. Guijot replied : *' On a Spain a foreign legion, and entered 

recent occasion I had the honour into treaties ; this conduct was 

of stating in this Chamber that it conformable to the wishes of Spain 

was not the intention of the king's and to the interests of France ; but 

Government to interfere, directly beyond this the actions of France 

or indirectly^ in the affairs of the did not extend. What I meant 

Peninsula; but» in using that lao- by saying that France would not 

gaagOf I was fat from desirous of seek to exercise under present cir- 

M^M^^ I ii. i I <■ ■■■ ■ ■ »■ ■> I m il 11 III I 


3. Qewnl Cask Aceonvi— 

Fxanes. Cts. Fnoct. Cti. 
Depoliff^In tpecie 100,735,900 

InaotM M)Syl74,aOO • 

■ ■ ■ - eQ7,909»800 

AiyvtBli.-^Ia tpecie 19S,09<|MO • 

InootM «• 542,7^,500 


TuaaUa • •• ,• 1,742,897,700 

III U p— »— <— 

ToUl t,01S,iS69,900 


Count D'ARGOUT, Governor of the Bank. 

Fbabcb Duanfe tbb last Six Mouths op 1840. 

Art. 1. DiwoBiit BaA ininrett aceiuing from the fattt six months, Md btlouging 

to th« present six months •• • 

ff. Operations of the Bank :— Ftencs. Francs. Cts. 

Disooont, bills of exebanfti 

amounting to .. •• 469,<40,057 producing 2,951,480 42 

Amranees on stocks •« •• 96,AS8,400 •.— - "~" " '" 

Ditto on ingots and bullion .. 117,283,000 

Ditto on Mint orders .. •• 15,945,853 -—— 
Various profits ,, •• •• 

9«5,TtS K 

1M,^4 50 

11, 6SS 99 

9>,l>t 9 


Totals •• 
9. Operationf of the kianehes:'— 
Ob bills of eschanse, advaocet 
on rentes, dtc. •• •• 

109,719,641 net 

III < - H I 


9,996,724 56 
511,752 95 

!■ II l« 

9,909,477 51 

FlMM. Oil. 
551,006 99 

9,996,794 51 

511,759 96 

1,476,167 10 

Totals •• 
4* Amtit of ineome (reii/e«) •• •• •• •• ,, .. ., 

5,095,651 M 

Count I>'ARGOUT« Governor oC tbo Bank of Frsoce* 


240] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

cumstances an active influence in 
Spain was, that she will respect 
the freedom of the Government 
of the Queen, hut will not take 
any part in the internal dissensions 
of the country. I entreat the 
Chamber to appreciate the dis- 
tinction which I draw. If the 
Government of Queen Isabella 2nd 
were to be menaced as to its ex- 
istence, the French Government 
would not abandon the policy 
which it has adopted up to the 
present time ; I repeat, however, 
that as regards the struggles of 
Ministries and parties, the King's 
Government will abstain from all 
intervention. Events, upon which I 
will not pronounce an opinion, but 
which I deplore, have brought about 
the present situation of Spain, hut 
the men who are at the head of 
affairs there, have given to no per- 
son a right to say that they wish 
to separate themselves from Queen 
Isabella 2nd. I will add that 
the present Government of Spain 
is her government de facto and de 
jure* It is recognised by the 
whole country. There is, at this 
moment, no civil war, and there is 
no reason why we should not con- 
tinue our friendly relations with 
Spain. If the present Ministry 
in Spain should really and sincerely 
endeavour to become a regular 
Government, in order to efface the 
remembrance of all that was irre- 
gular in its accession to power, 
why should we not maintain the 
same policy towards it.^ The 
King's Government will support 
any party anxious to bring Spain 
withm the operation of regular 
and pacific government. We are 
not compelled to interfere in her 
intestine disputes. We are far 
from wishing to identify ourselves 
with the present Ministry in Spain, 
for we have our fears and our scru- 

ples, but we are not hound to state 
them publicly. It is feared that 
Spain will be delivered up to the 
influence of our rivals. The same 
thing was said several months ago. 
Believe me, however, when I say 
that political influence does not 
perish with this or that Cabinet. 
These changes are only connected 
with domestic struggles oi parties. 
Let us not attach to these vicis- 
situdes more importance than they 
deserve. I am free, indeed, to 
confess that there are in Spain 
men who are hostile to us, but 
that was inevitable, for our own 
dissensions have their ramifications 
abroad; but French influence is 
not and will not be lost. The 
geographical position of Spain pre- 
vents this, and we oueht not to 
act as if we were afraid of lodng 
our influence. Our policy is a 
policy of patience. We give to 
the Spanish Ministry counseb of 
wisdom and moderation, but we do 
nothing to support it against in- 
ternal parties. If the throne of 
the Queen should be in danger, 
we should not hesitate to act in 
spite of the rival influence which 
has been talked of. The party 
which now governs Spain cads 
itself attached by prererence to 
the alliance with England^ as 
that which preceded it called it- 
self attached by preference to 
the alliance with France; but 
is it possible that a country like 
ours can be without influence over 
a neighbouring state when all 
the moderate party are looking 
anxiously towards us? Gentle- 
men, the treaty of the quadruple id- 
liance has rendered immense serrioe 
to Spain, and if analosous circum- 
stances were to arise, France wouU 
know how to snatch Spain from 
any influence not warranted by 
her geographical position." 



The disposition in favour of the 
Ex-Regent evinced by the conduct 
of Louis Philippe towards her, had 
excited considerable uneasiness in 
Spain^ and fears were entertained 
lest a party might be found in 
France willing to re-establish her 
in her former authority by force 
of arms, and thus occasion the 
downfall of Espartero, and what 
was called, the Constitutional party 
in Spain. In the month of No- 
vember> of last year (1840), a 
note was addressed by M. Ferrer, 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of 
Spain, to M. Guizot, which was 
intended as a kind of answer to 
the manifesto, issued at Marseilles, 
by Queen Christina, after she had 
entered the French territory, and 
an appeal to France not to lend 
herself to the intrigues of the 
Ex-Regent and her partisans. 
After attacking Queen Christina's 
manifesto^ M* Ferrer's note pro- 
ceeded as follows : — 

" The emigrants increased every 
day by men habituated to domi- 
neer over the state by the favour 
of the Court and the Camarilla ^ 
the re-union in France of those 
men with the Carlists who took 
refuge in that country after their 
submission; the intrigues which 
the absolute courts would add with 
a view to attack the constitutional 
system which Spain has given to 
herself — all these matters consi- 
dered^ impose on the Provisional 
Regency of Spain the necessity of 
appealing to the Governments, her 
allie8» to obviate in their outset 
the disastrous effects which these 
attempts might otherwise produce; 
for it would be most imprudent to 
expose the nation to the chances 
of a civil war when she has on 
foot a well-disciplined army of 
200,000 veterans, a National 
Guard of 500,000 citizens^ proud 


of their honour and their inde- 
pendence, and a General-in-chief 
who merits the national confidence 
equally with that of the army by 
his civil and military virtues^ and 
by the services which he has ren« 
dered in the last epoch, which Eu- 
rope admires and cannot help ac- 

" With this view the Cabinet of 
h^r Catholic Majesty addresses 
itself to the French Government 
with full confidence, in order to 
require^the continuation of the 
friendly relations customary be- 
tween allied courts, and of the in- 
ternational communications, which, 
based upon mutual good faith and 
equity, and excluding all Machia-i 
velism and all acts of disloyalty, 
are the only means of maintaining 
an amity worthy of great nations, 
and calculated to be lasting and 

*^ The Spanish Government does 
not presume to expostulate against 
the sojourn in France of the ex- 
Regent Donna Maria Christina; 
it dues not insist either on hos- 
pitality being denied to Spaniards 
who seek abroad a temporary asy- 
lum. Queen Christina now only 
represents a fallen power, whose 
return is impossible. Her person 
is not a principle, and she cannot, 
in any case, lay claim to any per- 
sonal right or prerogative, saving 
that of Dowager Queen, to secure 
to herself an existence worthy of her 
past rank ; but the Regency of 
Spain will ever and loudly protest 
against all secret or avowed in- 
trigue which might be tolerated or 
encouraged along the frontiers; 
for, instead of regarding it as a 
desire to maintain the good rela- 
tions required by the law of na- 
tions, it would see in such a pro- 
ceeding a disloyal and hostile 
conduct, of which it would avenge 

242] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

itself without delay, no matter 
who was guilty of it, being well 
aware that nations only live in the 
political world by their honour, 
by their prestige, and consideration; 
and that it is far preferable for 
them^o succumb in an honourable 
struggle, than tamely submit to 
shameful conditions which Spa- 
niards at all times have spurned." 
But the chief question which 
occupied the minds of the poli- 
ticians of Paris at the commence- 
ment of the present year, wa^ that of 
the fortifications of the capital, and 
the journals were filled with vio- 
lent articles on the subject. It 
was well known that Louis Phi- 
lippe was himself favourable to 
the project^ which was likely to 
give him, i|i case of any sudden 
impitey such an in^mense advan- 
tage, by enabling him to over- 
whelm an insurrection by the pan-, 
nqn of the iron girdle of fortresses 
to be drawn round the city, and 
the resistless number of troops 
which could be poured into the 
streets on an emergency at a mo- 
n^ent's notice. But it having been 
by almost all parties decided that 
Paris was to be fortified^ the next 
and subordinate question^ but one 
which excited the most vehement 
discussion, was whether it was to 
he surrounded by one continuous 
wall, '* enceinte continuee" or only 
by a number of detached forts, 
'^ forts dei(ich^" at a certain fixed 
distance from the city. 

A Committee was appointed to 
prepare a Report upon the subject, 
of which M> Thiers was a member; 
and this adroit and active states- 
man soon procured himself to b^ 
appointed President of and Re- 
porter to the Committee 3 and thus 
put himself in the position of 
being able to present to the Cham- 
ber, with the authority of a 

recommepdi^tion fipQ( tjie Com- 
mittee, his own particular v}ew4 
on the question. In i^l proba- 
bility. Minister! ip \hi» circifia- 
stance were npt averse tp gratify- 
ing M. Thiers, knowings as they 
(lid, that their rqyal P|s^«ter ^fu| 
nearly ^ e^er for t)ie prefect ^B 
his ejf-l4iQister, w^o W9f» tlje 
original promulgator of the spi^^fpe. 
It was determin^^ to ^a|j||ii)ata 
Paris to a fortress of t^ tbiid 
dass, and tl)e Cqmmitt^ of il^e 
Chamber pf Deputies hayii^ met 
in the beginning pf January, i^ft^ 
a deliberation of four hQprs, le- 
solved — first, that the emge^iufe po»- 
tinu^e and ih^Jbrts ^twhit ijlpulA 
be siqiultan^usly executed; apd^ 
second, that the wtiole rf the 
works should be cpmpletfd in tl^ 
course of three year% t^e CfHlir. 
mit^, moreover, ^ed tlio 4tef of 
the exterior poiQt! to be. fiutifiedi 
and decided that detactii^^ A>^ 
should be cQpatn}cte4 (ui dw^ 
heights pf Romainyille, at Noisy, 
s^nd at Nugent, which opqip^qd 
all the roads by wl^cl\ ^ iii- 
vading army adyanciog fiwm thf^ 
frontiers of the nort£ ^fijt eaMi 
could reach Pa^i^* 

On the 9th of JapVMtiy liw 
Con^mittee on thp Foytifii^tJWli 
had an interview with thei Qin 
vemment. The origintJ dravi^t 
of the Bill brpught forw%ffd ffA 
the subject, provid^ thai th^.e3(<- 
terior works or forts 9hpui4 \t^ 
commenced first. 7^ CommittPft 
insisted on the enoeinte (?qp^j||af^ 
2ind the forts being aiiqultfMaeqvMly 
constructed. To tpi^ tbo Cn^iinfit 
of Marshal SouU assepted ^ wA W 
the other handj the Cpmnutte^ 
concurred in the views of Ml^Un 
ters wit^ resard to the tiqie re- 
quired for the execution qf fha 
whole work— extending i( ffM 
three to five yean» W^ tt^. ««- 



p^9e should prave too heavy a 
Dqr^en ypon the nation. Next 
week M. Thiers read in the Cham- 
her of Deputies the Report of the 
ConiinUtee, hy whiph it appeared 
that ia de^renpe to the wishes of 
Qoyemoient, they had determined 
to recommend that the detached 
fort3 sboutd he placed at a distance 
frooi the wall of circumvallation^ 
M. Thiers said in his Report, that 
the project! of fortifying Paris^ and 
^h^ pece^^ for that mea^ure^ 
w^re not (ho resnU of late circum- 
stanceiji hut dated far back in the 
history of France, and had been 
d^med essential by «ome of her 
gre^t^st genend^., Napoleon, after 
WQ battle of Au^terlitz, saw the 
neopssi^ qf fortifying the capital, 
in order to render Continental 
coaltlJons abortive. He(M.Thier8), 
fuid the Cahjpel; of which he 
fonp^d pvt, viewed this great 

S|e^t|q][\ ii^ the same light, and 
ought it the imperative dqty of 
the Goverqmont to protect Paris 
fron^ 1^ repetition of former mis- 
fortunes. Paris pnce fortified and 
rende^ pyoof against a coup de 
main^ or sudden march of an in- 
vading anny> the effect of coali- 
tions wQuld ho considerably less- 
ened, and the system of Continen- 
tfil war modified. Napoleon him- 
self had declared, that had Berlin, 
Vienna, and Madrid, been suf- 
ficieiitly fortified;, the result of the 
€!ampaign which led to their cap- 
ture would have been accomplished 
with far more difficulty. The 
situation of the political world in 
former and recent times absolutely 
required that the capital of this 
great nation should be placed in a 
permaneiit state of defence. This 
was the principle which actuated 
the Committee ; and it was con- 
sidered that the stronger Paris 
was x^eredji the greater would 

he tho respect of surrounding na* 
tions ; and that, if well fortified, 
Paris would never be attacked- 
Qne of the chief difficulties alleged, 
was the supplying of Paris with 
fresh meat: but, vyith (he pro- 
tection of the numerous bastions 
rgtund the capital, there could al- 
wap be obtained a sufficient niim- 
be^r of cattle to last for Siixty days* 
which w^s probably the longest 
period to which a si^go could be 

A long discussion, which lasted 
for several days.^ followed the read- 
ing of this Report^ in the course 
of which the Chamber was ad-^ 
dressed hy M. Carnot (son of the 
celebrated Minister of that n^m^ 
under the Republic) who gave ex- 
planations respecting his father'^ 
opinion on the practicability of effec- 
tually fortifying Payis, "Carrot/ 
said he, *< alw^iys contended for the 
Utility of fortified places as means 
of defence for the territory, bpt 
he apprehended that the tendency 
of fortifying the capital, on which 
false and exaggerated hopes might 
b^ form^, was to induce neglect 
of the general defence of the coun- 
try. He would prefer that Paris 
be defended only by a fosse and a 
simple intrenchment, which would 
protect it from a co^p de main, to 
its being fortified in such a way as 
would enable it to resist to the 
last extremity," 

M. Thiers observed (from his 
place), that when the proper mo- 
ment should arrive, he would pro- 
duce a document written by Car- 
not, to prove that Paris was 
susceptible of being put into a 
state of defence, and that if it had 
not appeared so to him in 1814, it 
referred to the actual momentary 
circumstances of that period. A 
long debate ensued, in which M. 
Mounier supported the Bill and 


244] ANNUAL REGISTER. 1841. 

M. Pages (de TArri^ge) opposed 
il> observing, that '' fortifications 
would only serve to facilitate the 
transition from one Government 
to another^ when those who had 
begun by cowardice would end 
by treason." 

Marshal Soult followed^ and in 
a speech of more than two hours* 
duration, criticised and condemned 
the plan of an enceinte continuie, 
and recommended that which con- 
templated only forts detaches, yet 
concluded by supporting the mea- 
sure before the Chamber, rather 
than have no defences whatever. 
He would accept the enceinte con^ 
tinu^e, because he was not like the 
mail about being married, who re- 
fused to embrace a most desirable 
match because saddled with a 
double portion. The enceinte con^ 
tinu4e gave him (Marshal Soult) 
more than he desired, but that 
was no reason why he should not 
take what he had asked iot, even 
though burdened with superfluity 
*' A clever manoeuvre of Marshal 
Massena," continued Marshal Soult, 
** compelled the Duke of Welling- 
ton to fall back on Lisbon. The 
English army retired upon the 
fortifications of Torres Vedras, 
which liad been raised by the fore- 
sight of its chief. It was not 
round the city of Lisbon itself that 
the English General concentrated 
its defence. He preferred the 
heights and the defiles of Torres 
Vedras» and the event justified his 
calculation. Then, if he (Mar- 
shal Soult) might be allowed to 
speak of himself, he defended Tou-i 
louse with 21,000 men against an 
army of 71,0(X)> not by shutting 
himself up in the town, but by 
occupying the heights and in- 
trenching himself in advance of it. 
On the contrary, Vienna was en- 
tered without resistance, after the 

battle of Uhn, in 1806, although 
surrounded by an enceinte coH" 
tinuie regularly bastioned." 

M. Odillon Barrot then moved 
that the debate be adjourned, as 
"' the matter introduced by the 
Minister of War was a surwiae 
upon the Committee on the diH^ 
and rendered a further comddeia- 
tion of it in Committee indispens- 

On the renewal of the debate, 
M. de Latournelle spoke in favour 
of the system of the enceinte con» 
tinueCy which was afterwards op- 
posed by M. Janvier. M. Guizot, 
who followed M. Janvier, sup- 
ported the Bill, and said that he 
did not wonder at the perplexity 
into which it had thrown tli^ 
Chamber from the fears enter- 
tained of the fortifications being 
made the instrument of a turbu- 
lent and warlike policy* If this 
uneasiness were founded, the Cro* 
vernment would assume a great 
responsibility in bringing it for- 
ward, for, like the Chamber» it 
wished for a pacific and regular 
policy ; and it was because it saw 
the necessity for protecting ^e 
seat of civilization, that the Cabi- 
net had proposed the For^cation 
Bill. M. Guizot thought the 
measure a guarantee of peace, and 
declared that foreign countries 
were not averse to it as asserted 
by several speakers. The Govern- 
ment had received from them no 
communications on the subject. 
When M. Guizot had condiraed, 
M. Thiers went up to him and 
complimented him on his dis« 

When the general discussion had 
closed, M. Thiers, as the Reporter, 
summed up, and endeavoured to 
refute the different arguments ad- 
duced against the plan recom- 
mended by the Committee, by the 

ttlStOHY OF EURO^fi. 


opponents of the Bill. He said 
that the Ministers of the 1st of 
March had helieved in the pos- 
sibility of a war ; ** They may he 
deceived," he said, *' but they he- 
lieved it ;" and it was to provide 
against such a contingency they 
had deemed it their duty, in the 
absence of the Chambers, to un- 
dertake the fortification of Paris* 
The Committee appointed to de- 
cide on the expediency of granting 
the supplementary credits £r 1840, 
had, moreover, approved the ex- 

genses already made, and of which 
e and his colleagues assumed the 
entire responsibility. M. Thiers 
then contended that all parties 
concurred in the necessity of 
placing Paris in a state of defence, 
and only differed respecting the 
most efficacious mode of carrying 
the measure into execution. He 
repeated all his former arguments 
in favour of the enciente continuie, 
supported by advanced outworks. 

The next day (January 27th) 
the Chamber of Deputies com- 
menced the discussion of the para- 
graphs of the Fortification Bill. 

The first article on which the 
debate opened was the following: 
— *'A sum of 140,000,000f. is 
spedally allotted to the works 
of the fortifications of Paris.*' M. 
de Beaumont moved an Amend- 
ment, having for its object to re- 
duce the sum to 20,000,000f, 
which were to be solely employed 
in erecting works of defence round 
St. Denis and Charenton. Mar- 
shal Sebastian! opposed the Amend- 
ment, and declared in favour of 
the enceinte continuie, supported 
by advanced forts, to the exclusion 
of every other system. M. Joly 
seconded the Amendment, which 
was combated by M. Chabaud La- 
tour^ and ultimately rejected by 
the Chamber* 

An Amendment was afterwards 
moved by General Schneider to 
the eflTect that, ''A grant of 
80,000,000f. is specially voted for 
the purpose of erecting the forti- 
fications necessary to connect the 
defence of Paris with the general 
defence of the nation." This 
Amendment however, was after 
considerable discussion negatived* 
M. Guizot spoke against it. He de- 
clared, that after having listened 
attentively to the long debate 
which had taken place on General 
Schneider's Amendment, he re- 
mained of the same opinion as he 
was when he last addressed the 
Chamber, and was convinced that 
the fortification to be raised round 
Paris should be real and efiicacious. 
M. Guizot considered that Gene- 
ral Schneider's Amendment did 
not provide a real and efficacious 
fortification, he would therefore 
oppose it. The honourable Deputy 
then alluded to Marshal Sou It, 
who supported the Bill before the 
Chamber, whilst he appeared to 
speak in favour of his own plan of 
fortification; this, continued M* 
Guizot, is by no means inconsist- 
ent with a constitutional form of 
Government, and quoted Mr. Can- 
ning and Mr. Pitt, who frequently 
spoke against measures proponed by 
a Cabinet of which they formed a 

M. Dufaure rose to support 
General Schneiders Amendment. 
He objected to the expense which 
would be entailed on the nation 
by adopting the Bill proposed by 
the Committee, and further stated 
that from the nature of the soil in 
the neighbourhood of Paris, It 
would be found impossible to com- 
plete the enceinte continu^e, be- 
cause in some places where the 
bastioned wall was to be built the 
ground was mined to the depth of 


234 yards. In support of his ar- 
gument M. Dufaure quoted th6 
Works of Cuvier, Brougniart, and 
Dulaune. Neither did the ho- 
nourable Member consider that the 
Government plan would have the 
expected advantage of crieating a 
moral effect amongst foreign na- 
tions, " ifbr, were I a foreigner," 
continued M. Dufaure, " I \votild 
say, ' I feared that France would 
increase her army, and I feared 
her as a rival on the iseais; but 
whien I see France engaged in ex- 
pending etiormous sums of tnotiey 
to build a wall which cannot afiect 
me, I congratulate myself that 
France is acting for my advati- 
tage. ' " Here the honourable 
Member was interrupted by loud 
cries of ** Question." 

After a few words frt)m M. 
Guizot, in explanation, and from 
M. Odillon Barrot, who stated , 
amidst much confusion and cries 
of '^ Question/* that he would re- 
serve his opinion on the simulta- 
neous mode of erecting the fortifi- 
cations until the debate upon the 
3d Article of the Bill, 

The President stated, that the 
secret vote was demanded by 20 
Members, in writing. The Cham- 
ber was called over, and, on couht- 
ing the votes on the Ist Article of 
General Schneider's Amendment, 
the President declared the result 
of the ballot to be — 

Number of Votes . 41 1 

For the Amendment . . . 175 

Against it .236 

Majority against the Amend- 

ment 61 

An Amehdment afkierwancls 
moved by M. L'Herbette, and 
modified by Marshal Soult, ph)- 
vided that Paris should not be 
(Massed aihong^t the fortresses of 

France (and therefore not subject 
to martial law), biit by viHue of 
a special legi^ative enlictment 
This Amendment was adopted; 
and in the discussion which im- 
mediately preceded the filial di- 
vision on the Bill. Marshal Soult 
frankly declared that the Govern- 
ment would give full efifect U> the 
law ih every respect ; thus accept- 
ing, with slight modific)itxDfo& (ia- 
troduced in the cbOrSb of the 
debate), the Report of thtg Cnm- 
mittee. The Chamber ihen di- 
vided^ when thette appe a red. 

For the Bill i 
Against it . 




The enceinte continue wiastherefbre 
to be carried itito execution, ahd this 
forts detach^ Were to be etMed 
simultaneously with it. Biit Mar- 
shal Soult reserved to the Go>nihi- 
ment the right of detlermihittg itti# 
the works wete to be coQstiUcled^ 
and the points wheUe the foiti 
were to be placed — a )[nivilege 
which had been strongly o^potad 
by M. Odillbh BarrOt, as involv- 
ing the danger that they might h6 
hereafter employed as ft inebas tyf 
overawing and injuring tike in- 
habitants of Paris. The Bill 
parsed thh)ugh the Chamfaeir dF 
Peers on the Ist of April, and was 
carried by a majority d[ i47 Id 
85, after which it imxaediatel^ 
received the Roy&l assent. 

On the 18th of Jantiujr M. 
Humann, the Minister of F&mnee^ 
brought forward a Bill, ih wlurfi 
he demanded credits to the fblldW- 
ing extent, and which wis drrMtfd 
into the following .^ttidei. 

"Art. 1. A imm of 40,0dD,0n)P. 
is Appropriated to the iSMofAetlM 
df the extraordtniBry Woib of tite 
service of the PontSi^l^TliMM^ 



in augtasentatdoa of the sum of 
I88,296,000f. remaining to be em- 
ployed in 1842 and following years, 
and Voted by special laws. These 
Appropriations^ amounting alto- 
gether to 228,269, OOOf., shall be 
divided under special heads. 

" 2. A sum of 254,000,000f., 
including 92,000,000f., at which 
the expense of the fortifications of 
Paris for 1842 and following years 
lis fixed, is appropriated to the ex- 
traordinary works of the War De- 
paHment> for the engineers and 
artillfeiry, and !br barracks and 
military magazines. 

*' 8. A sum of 52,000,000f. is 
kj^ptopriated to the extraordinary 
Wbkks to be executed by the De- 
partment of the Marine, and in 
the potts and arsenals. 

'* 4. Updrt the grants, fixed by 
the preceding Articles, credits 
amounting to 73,000,O0Of. are 
tftieAe^, fbr the expenditure charge- 
am Upon the estimates of 1842, 

Public Works 
Ministry of War 
Ministry of Marine 

Total . 



** 5» Reffeirs to the dassification 
rf the credits, and the faculty of 
casing over the amount not em- 
ployed to the next Budget. 

•** 6. TTie expenditure for which 
fhese credits are opened, upon the 
isstiniatei of 1842, up to the 
amount €f 75,000,000f., is to be 
eoreftsd by a sum to that extent 
f^ liie produce of the loan of 
450jGd0,O00f., mentioned under 
the head off Extraordinary Ways 
imd Means, in the law of Receipts 
ef tiki estimates of 1^2." 

1%lft Minister ilk the loburse of 
Ms 'Vijloj^ iM»d, thAt 0f the 

254,000,000f. mentioned in arti- 
cle 2, 75,000,000f. were destined 
for the completion of the defence 
of the frontiers and the interior of 
the kingdom, independently of the 
fortifications of Paris; 75,o6o,OOOf. 
were for barracks and military 
magazines, and 12,000,000f. for 
the artillery and powder. He 
stated, that it was intended to ap- 
propriate 75,000,000f. annually 
for six years, from the year 1842, 
for extraordinary public works. 
The expenditure under this head 
would, he said, be more than 
60,000,000f. for 1841. The total 
amount of the credits now de- 
manded would, he said, h^ 
684,000,000f., which would ex- 
ceed by 84,000,000f. the amount 
of the proposed loan. The Minis- 
ters had not chosen^ he said, to 
increase the amount of the loan^ 
for it would be improper to draw 
upon capitsdists beyond their means. 
On this point, he added — " In em- 
bracing in our combinations a 
period of six years, during which 
an annual sum of 75,000,000f. is 
to be appropriated to extraordinary 
public works, we shall give to 
them a development which they 
have not hitherto attained, even 
under the most favourable circum- 
stances. When we shall have ex- 
hausted the loan, we must provide 
for the deficiency ; but resources, 
gentlemen, will not be wanting 
for this purpose. If the mainte- 
nance of the peace of Europe 
should continue to favour the pro- 
gress of national wealth, we shall 
find in the reserve of the sinking 
fund revenues to cover our deficits, 
and all the means necessary for 
persevering in the career of pubUc 
improvement. Political, circum- 
stances have not influenced oiilr 
determinations as to extraordinary 
worksj otherwise than by iod 

248] ANNUAL REGISTER^ 1841. 

US to take into consideration tbe 
necessary precautions which sooner 
or later, in the present situation of 
Europe, France must have adopted. 
It is not without profound regret, 
however, gentlemen, that in order 
to provide for the War Depart- 
ment we have been compelled to 
diminish by one-half the amount of 
grants to the Ponts et Chaussees, 
and to resign ourselves not to un- 
dertake any new enterprise before 
the year 1848. The emulation of 
nations advanced in civilisation di- 
rects itself only in the present day 
to the conquests of peace, and we 
must deplore the still imperfect 
state of international relations 
which compels them to consume 
in sterile expenditure the capital 
demanded for reproductive em- 
ployment. We should be happy, 
for our part, to see the resources 
of France exclusively applied to 
those fruitful ameliorations which, 
in augmenting the revenues of the 
soil, amply compensate the Trea- 
sury for temporary sacri6ces. But 
we must before all things provide 
for the security and independence 
of the country. The desire of de- 
veloping, for the good of our 
country, the advantages which 
flow from peace» has not prevented 
us from providing for the defence 
of the country. The measures 
adopted, however, are of a nature 
to prevent dangers, which in the 
event of need they would tend 
efficaciously to remove. Such was 
our conviction in adopting them. 
Public confidence, gentlemen, will 
equal our own, and prove again, 
that in order to guide France 
prudently and successfully in the 
path of her great destiny, her 
ffovernors should, above all, have 
ndth in her good fortune," 

M. Humann then read a very 
long and detailed expo9i of the 

different branches to which it wa^ 
intended to appropriate the credit 
for the War Department. 

Early this year a great senmtion 
was produced in Paris by the pub- 
lication in the journal La France 
of some fragments of letters attri- 
buted by that paper to the King 
Louis Philippe, the originals of 
which were said to be in the hands 
of M. de Larochejaquelin. The 
whole of these were a most dis- 
graceful forgery, the object of 
which was to bring the Kin^ into 
contempt, and the great majority 
of the Opposition journals showed 
a discreditable avidity in giving 
circulation to the falsehoods with 
invidious comments upon the por- 
tions which they published. The 
first letter was said to contain a 
promise to abandon Algiers in the 
following words. ''As to the oocnpa* 
tion of Algiers I have most power- 
ful reasons for faithfully fulfilling 
the engagements which my fiemuly 
made with Great Britain. Under 
those circumstances I trust that his 
Majesty's Government will allow 
me to choose my own time and 
measures." The second letter re- 
ferred to the insurrection in Poland 
thus '' The cabinet of St. Peters- 
burgh ought to thank us and not 
the conqueror of Warsaw for having 
crushed this centre of incesnnt 
rebellion." The third hinted that 
the fortifications round Paris would 
be used to subjugate the citiieiis» 
and declared that the King was 
determined to subdue the press, his 
''most dangerous enemy." In 
consequence of this the France^ the 
Gazette de France, the CiwAidiefme^ 
the Echo Francois, the Natkmal, 
and the Commerce, were seised by 
the police, and the Editors of those 
journals respectively had notice 
given them that they would be 
prosecuted for fosguy, isd ftr 



an offence against the King* s per- 

In our last volume* we gave an 
account of the attempt of a man 
named Darmes to assassinate Louis 
Philippe, and mentioned that he 
was convicted of the crime. Sen- 
tence was passed upon him at the 
end of ]VIay in this year and he was 
ordered to he conducted to the 
place of execution^ and punished 
as a parricide with bare feet, in 
his shirt, and with a black veil 
over his head. He was then to be 
guiUotined. This sentence he 
underwent on the 3l8t of May. 

The state of the French finances 
and the large demands upon the 
public purse in consequence of the 
war-cry which had been raised 
last year> and the necessity of in- 
creasing the naval and military 
establishments, had caused the 
taxation to fall heavily upon the 
people, and some serious disturb- 
ances arose in various parts of 
France. The most formidable was 
at Toulouse, where an unpopular 
Prefect exasperated the people and 
an alarming cmeute took place. 
This happened in the month of 
July, ana the following account of 
it is taken from the Moniteur. 

"On Monday, the 12th, in the 
afternoon, a great number of work- 
men quitted work and forced their 
comrades to imitate them. They 
went in a body to the Porte St. 
Etienne, and there seized in private 
houses pieces of wood and other 
materials for a barricade. Whilst 
the barricades were forming, some 
went to the Veterinary School, to 
get the students to join them. The 

• Vol. 82, p. 177. It is there stated 
tblit his seiiteiice was commuted into 
confinement for life— and at the time 
wb6n that account was written it wai 
pMially believed that the capital pun- 
ishmenfc would not be carried into effects 

latter refused; and one of the 
rioters being sent to warn the 
authorities, was obliged to turn 
back, under penalty of being 
thrown into the canal. Ten bar- 
ricades were made, and towards 
half-past four the rioters marched 
to the Prefecture. They were re- 
pulsed ; and seeing the number of 
troops, fell back behind the barri- 
cades. The rioters then got upon 
the roofs of the square, m which 
the Prefecture is, and flung the 
tiles on the soldiers below. The 
General (Saint Michel) was struck 
by a stone on the thigh. Another 
General had his horse wounded. 
Stones and tiles rained on the 
soldiers. One of the mob called 
Charvades, was bayoneted and died. 
While the riot on the 12th was 
going on, the Provisional Munici- 
pality, accompanied by officers of 
the National Guard, went to the 
Prefect and requested him to call 
out the National Guard. The 
Prefect (M. Mahul) thought him- 
self bound to give his consent. At 
nightfall the National Guard as- 
sembled on the Place du Capitole, 
occupied that post, and joined the 
troops of the line in prorecting the 
Prefecture. The rioters then de- 
manded the release of the prisoners 
who had been arrested on the pre- 
ceding days. The detachment of 
the National Guards stationed at 
the prison was forced, the door was 
attempted to be broken open, and 
one of the panels had given way, 
when the Provisional Mayor pro* 
mised to release the prisoners on 
the following day under bail. On 
the i3th, assemblages more threat- 
ening than before invaded the 
streets at an early hour. Fresh 
barricades were raised, and the tel- 
egraphs of Toulouse and Blagnac 
were pulled down. Then it was 
that the Prefiect dedded opoiv 

250] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

leaving the towh, dilci took his de- 

tarture in a carriage prepared for 
im by the Provisional Municipal- 
ity. On the same day, a band of 
rioters twice forced their way into 
the house of the Procureur du Roi, 
Whom they sought with the inten- 
tion of murdering him ; but who^ 
both tibies^ happened to be from 
hoihe. The post of the National 
Gu^tds, stationed at the House^ 
iiiinde nt) endeavours to prevent 
thiiB. The persons who had been 
alrrested were set at liberty." 

The spirit of hoistility towards 
tti^ tat-gathetier showed itself in 
bther pllices — ^though it did not 
hV'eak out ihto such extreme vio- 
tettdfe* At Met2, Baron Dufour, 
the Ni^yor, caused a notice to be 
)pla'carded in the town, stating that 
'* M. tfumann's circular is a viola- 
tion of the laws of the 4th Fru- 
maire, tof the year 7, of the 4th 
Gehninal, of the year 11, and of 
the 21st rf April, 1832.'* The 
Mtli^idpal Council of Auxerre held 
a meetSngand refused to accompany 
thefisca) agents in their domiciliary 
visits,-^and in other towns the 
Municipal Councils, in like man- 
ner, refused any assistance to the 
Surveyors of Taxes, liyons, Mar- 
seilles, Bordeaux, Poictiers, Ton- 
nerre, and many other places pro- 
tested against the taxation survey ; 
and in the month of August when 
the attempt to complete it at Toul* 
ouSb ilras again maae, it was only 
effected by an imposing display of 
military forces and artillery. Sub- 
sequently at Lyons a riot broke out 
mm the same cause, which was 
quelled by troops of the line, and 
mtcharges of gtape in the streets. 
Such was the price which the 
French had to pay for their 
Wounded vanity-*-which led them 
to alh)W the King's Government 
to )^t va tfa% estaUxshioieiits ujKM 

a war-footing, and incur an enor- 
mous outlay in fortifying Paris^ 
simply because they fancied that 
France had been insulted, beicause 
ishe was made no party to the 
treaty of the 15th of July. But 
notwithstanding all this opposition 
of popular feeling to the burden of 
new taxes, the naval and military 
preparations proceeded with un- 
abated vigour, and in all the dock- 
yards of France ships were being 
built and commissioned as though 
the outbreak of immediatie war 
was apprehended. 

In the month of Ausust Uiii 
istatue of Napoleon Wat paced on 
the top bf the column of At 
Grand Arm^ at Boulogne, aiAiiiilk 
great festivities and rejmdng. 

The same unea^ feding \»hidk 
had shown itself throughout the 
provinces appeared also in WHs^ 
and in the month Df Augdst and 
October latge assemUagea of men 
collected at diBereUt tmies ih thk 
Faubourgs atid streets, and a gtetit 
deal of rioting took place — but 
this was sup p ressed hf the IfMi. 
cipal Guard withbut the t iecp wii) ! 
of calling out the iatk^ of tbe 
line or mtional Guud. Biit At 
state of the public mitid sedttved tb 
be to a gteat textent diseated ; and 
an event afaiout this tfane oiiknimddt 
which has, unhajp)nly Ibr ilMs ftar 
fame of Framce, uCCSA too liuuiuicAi 
of late years to excite Astt 9utpn^ 
and wonder whicSi its «txtocit)r 
would otherwise hare aiw Ae tted ih 
the mind of civilised Etnope. ^V^ 
allude to the attempt ftalae in the 
month of Octoiber to ajnaaritiate 
the Duke d'Aumalej the Ibutdi Boa 
of Luuis I^ilippe, xm his i^tum^ 
at the head of his troopi;, firom hit 
campugn in Africa. 

On the 13feh of OoCobor, tkc 
17th reg^meftt of Li^ bdmnfi 
witfi its CDloikca>ita8Dttlrtd'Atlltt4 


[25 1 

ale^ was expected in Paris, having 
marched thrbugti France from the 
south ai^er landing from Algiers. 
At noon the column entered Paris 
hy the gate of Viilcennes with the 
Duke d'Aumate at its head, and a 
little behihd him two of his bro- 
thers, the Duke d^Orleans and the 
Duke de Nemours. Just as they 
reached the lEiospice d6 St. Atiioihe 
^ nkan ^uddi^hly presented himself 
hoiditoff twd pistols^ which he 
shapp€»i at the Duke d*Aumale (or 
aocioifdintt tb ataotber accotltat at the 
D\A^ dX)rleah)3, the hieir to the 
Ihtolie) but only olie bf them went 
^. Prtovidentialiy the villain 
tniss^ his aim, but Lieut.-Coion<el 
IjBvailliant of the 17th was slightly 
wo^lnded in the knee, and his horse 
Wai ISO mUch injured that it died. 
Thesoldlets of the 17th immedi- 
ately lowered thieir muskets, and 
iViere about to thatgie the blob ; but 
the Duke of OHeatls rushed to 
Ihe front and prevented it, ordering 
the toldiers to gift)und their aites. 
The people ran hsxk, bearing the 
assAsiiili ^ith them; but ohe of 
th^Vn Ki^^d him by the hair and 

JteVented hiis escape. He was 
ressed ih a fi!ock col^t, covered 
with E isbort blbuflie called a bofiir- 
ger&n^fo(r this purpose probably 
bf tohcealing his weapons. He 
VhBts imhiedidtely taken to the 
Cbndfergerie, where he was ex- 

Th^ fooitaeiit the escape of the 
Prfiites was ascertained, the people 
ifefttiiiied thelt Joy by loud shouts of 
*" P%ve ie Roi! Vivent ies Princes V* 
Thtt Duke of Aumale turned to the 
Duk^ xK Otleans, sthiling, and ob- 
s^rVed^ •* !t appears that I begin to 
be ireckoned of some consequence^ 
shice they wish to kill toe." The 
titfiDpB, mer a short delay, proceed- 
M td tile Ru<e de Richel^ ; where 
tiie nftttth wall iXof^ for some 

time. At t\vo, thi^ )^it)g> accom- 
panied by the King of the Bel- 
gians, the Duke of Saxe Ct^boiiirg, 
the Duke bf Mbntpensiei*, Marshal 
Soult^ and a numerous stafi*, all bn 
hbrseback, awaited the arrival of 
the voung Dukes atid the 17th ih 
the Court of the Tuileries. Thl^ 
Qbeen, the Queen of the Belgiahs, 
the Duchess bf Nemouts, the Prin- 
cess Adelaide, and the t^lrinoes^ 
Clementine, \Vere placed under 
the Pavilion de rHoribge. The 
gates of the Place du Carrousel 
opened, and the Diik^ bf Aum'i&le 
entered on an Arabian hbrse, fol-^ 
lowed by some officers. The fathet 
and son embraced ; and 1;hc King 
thanked the Prihce for his valiant 
services in Aftrica. He tlieh ad- 
dressed some of the other officers 
in obliging terms> and gave Colonel 
Levaillant ohe of the finest horses 
in his stables. Sboi) after the 
regiment entered the Cburt, formed 
in order of battle, atid Was ireVieW- 
ed by the King in pierlson. At 
four o'clock it resumed the march 
for Neuilly, to be present at th6 
banquet given to its Colbhel by 
the King and Queen. 

The name of the assassin tuttied 
out to be Francois Qu^nissiet. He 
was a sawyer by trade, and a nativi^ 
of Sellis, in the East of Fttittcfe. 
He hdd been in prison befbi*e, and 
was well known to the police a^ a 
man of abandoned character. It 
appeared that he beloiiged to Si 
political sect embodied ih a secret 
society, called *' TravaiUeurs Ega- 
Utaires,*' or ** Ctrftimnnistes" aftA 
shortly after he had been seized he 
accused many as accomplices in hi^ 
crime. A Court of Peers Was 
convened in November tb tty him 
and his guilty associates, when the 
report bf the commission ap{)ointed 
to make the prelimitiat^iilvestiga- 

t»m was fim t^d. Tim Itn -df 

262] ANNUAL REGI S T E R» 184t. 

the accused contained seventeen 
names, amongst which was that of 
Auguste Dupoty, Editor of a dem- 
ocratic newspaper called the Jotir- 
nal du Peuple, The rest were 
chiefly operatives, such as sawyers 
and cabinet-makers. The follow- 
ing account is taken from the 
** Report " somewhat abridged, and 
will be read with interest as show- 
ing the under-current which is 
flowing beneath the surface of 
Parisian society—- and the anarchial 
principles which are in France ex- 
tensively spreading amongst^ the 
lower orders of the people there* 
The narrative is worthy of the 
days of the Reign of Terror. 

** Qu6nisset/' says the report, 
'' belongs to the honest family of 
the Jura. Though violent at 
times when youngs his habits were 

fenerally tranquil and orderly. 
Le enlisted in the Fifteenth Regi- 
ment of Infantry; but being 
guilty of insubordination towards 
His corporal, he was condemned 
to five years* imprisonment with 
iheboulet. He escaped at the end 
of two years, took the name of 
Papart, and came to Paris. He 
beoime connected with a woman 
named Leplatre, and had a child 
by her. He was subsequently 
confined in the Madelonnettes. 
Here he found a feud raging be- 
tween the thieves of the prison 
and the Republican prisoners, who 
seem to have been at a disadvant- 
age. Qu^nisset took the part of 
a Republican; and this man, 
Mathieu, affected to take a great 
interest in him, and promised him 
a place of five thousand francs a 
year when the R^epublican party 
should triumph. From this prison 
he was removed to that of St. 
Pelapie; and during the two months 
of his detention there he was con- 
stantly worked upon by the Repub- 

licans, in order that he might be 
** moulded into a man df action." 
On leaving prison he returned to 
work — 

'' He hoped to get a certificate 
from the Mayor of his parish, at- 
testing the age and sufierings of 
his parents, thereon to found an 
exemption from military service. 
Failingin this, he became irritated, 
and met his old prison comrades, 
Frioul and Boggio, a locksmith, 
both members of the society of 
'' TravaiUeurs EgcUUaires,'^ opera- 
tives, friends of equality. Colombier 
received at his wine-shop the Com- 
munists and the men of their clubs. 
Popular and democratic journals 
were read there. [The National, 
the Journal du Peuple, the Popu^ 
laire, and the CommerceiPi Here 
were initiated the new adepts of 
societies, engaged to destroy King 
and Government. Qu^nisset, with 
Boucheron, another sawyer, was 
presented there by Boggio in the 
first days of August, »unitted a 
member after listening to a revo- 
lutionary speech, and took the oath. 
From that day till the 13th Sq). 
tember, Qu^nisset went every day 
to Colombier's wine-shop. * * • 
On Monday the 13di, Qu^nisset 
went at five in the morning to 
the Gr^ve to look for work and 
found none. He met Boggio on 
his return ; who told him that a 
movement was in preparation. 
They went to Colombier's, and 
found a dozen people discussing 
whether they should stir or remain 
tranquil: several of them had car- 
touches, which had been distri* 
buted by a certain Fremont, alias 
Dufour. Qu^nisset received two 
cartouches. And afterwards Braner 
or Just, one of the members of 
the society, brought Qu^niaset 
home with him^ ana care him two 
pistolsy which they oiarged. Bo« 



turning to the Rue St. Antoine, 
Qu^nisset met his comrade Bouch. 
eron^ and gave him one of the 
pistols. They also met Boggio. 
And Qu^nisset being by this time 
worked up to a state of exalta- 
tion, fired at the Prince as the 
cortege came up." 

Quenisset and two others were 
sentenced to death, but it was un. 
derstood that there lives would be 

M. Dupoty, the editor of the 
Journal du PeupUf was also found 
guilty by a majority of 133 to 
22 votes. He was convicted as 
a kind of accessary before the 
fact, in consequence of the ten- 
dency of the articles which ap- 
peared in his paper. This alarmed 
the whole body of the press, and 
a meeting was summoned of the 
principal editors and political wri- 
ters to adopt certain resolutions 
relative to M. Dupoty's condemna- 
tion. The result we shall give in 
our next volume. 

However much our French 
neighbours may talk of liberty 
and freedom of thought, it is 
certain that the Government in 
France keeps an eye of jealous 
watchfulness over the press, very 
different from that to which we 
are accustomed in this country ; 
the consequence is, that the crown 
there is too frequently committed 
in an undignified squabble with 
the newspapers, and where the 
attempt at a conviction fails, the 
process recoils against Ministers, 
or rather against the Sovereign 
himself^ and does much harm to 
the cause of monarchy in France. 
This year was distinguished by 
several of these dangerous trials of 
strength between Louis Philippe 
and the press. In the mouth of 
December, last year, the National 
published an article, contrasting 

the state of France in 1830 with 
her position in 1840, and accusing 
the leading statesmen of wasting 
their strength and time in paltry 
and disgraceful quarrels :— 

''What are these quarrels to 
us?** said the National: ** What 
is it to France, betrayed, degraded, 
and ruined as she is, to hear 
around her the squabbles of imbe- 
ciles and traitors, blockheads and 
felons, and to see in all this cla- 
mour but weakness or complicity ? 
Yes, ye have all been accomplices. 
But the chief criminal (coupable) 
— oh, we know well what he is, 
and who he is. France knows 
also who he is, and posterity will 
announce it. And ye, ye are his 

This passage could only point 
against the King, and in the month 
of September, of the present year, 
the Advocate-general commenced 
a criminal process against the editor 
M. Marie, the counsel for the 
accused, did not deny, that the 
King was the object of attack, but 
justified the truth of the charge 
by quoting the speeches of M. 
Thiers and others, and articles from 
the moderate Constitutional jour- 
nals of the last years, all attri- 
buting the humbled condition of 
France to the influence of the 
King on the Councils 'of his Mi- 
nisters. The jury returned a 
verdict of acquittal, whereupon, 
next day, the National published 
a boastful avowal of its former 
accusation in a tone of contemptu- 
ous triumph, saying : 

" The Advocate-general easily 
demonstrated that we were guilty 
of the double crime imputed to us, 
and argued as if our advocate 
would try to screen us by some 
subterfuge. But this did not suit 
the character either of our advo- 
cate or of our journal. Our idea 

%54] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

was evident. Tt was the King we 
meant — our readers could not mis^ 
take it. To deny it would have 
been to insult the good sense of 
the jury. We disdained a lie. It 
was tihe King we aimed at, and the 
circumstanpes in which we were 
placed gave us the right to do so;^ 
and justified our attack. Such was 
the thesis that M. Marie developed. 
The jury, in ten minutes, acquitted 
us on every point." 

For this renewal of the libel 
the National was again immeh 
dia(ely seized, as a preliminary to 
afVesh prosecution, being the sixth 
which had been instituted against 
it, witl^in ^ few days. 

On the 20 th of December a 
treaty was signed in I^ondon, be- 
tween France^ Austria, Prussia, 
Russia, apd Great Britain, whereby 
the former powers agreed to adopt 
the English laws relating to the 
slavv- trade. By these laws this 
trade is declared to be piracy, and 
all who engage in it, or embark 
capital towards carrying it on, arQ 
guilty of felony. The five Powers; 
mutually couched to each other the 
right of search in the case of all vesr. 
sels bearing their respective flags* 
This question of the right of search 
led to difficulty and embarrassment 
in our relations with America^ 
and the treaty was canvassed with 
much acrimony and ill-feeling 
towards England in the French 
Chaiphers, at the^ commencement 
of the following year (1842) ; hut 
these matters wul be detailed in 
our succeeding volume. 

A voluminous document was this 
y^ar published by the Adminis- 
tration of Customs in France on 
the external commerce of that 
country. From an analytical sum- 
mary in the volume we extract 
the passages which have the most 
^neral bearing. The first ex« 

tract is a geneiaal view pf the; 
advance of commerce. The yiilue 
is sts^ted in francs: — 

^' The external cppmeroe of 
France has progressive^ ino^^e^ised 
during the year 184Q. The total 
val ue of the various articles of which 
it consists has risen to the suo^ of 
2,063,000,000f.: this is the hig^t 
amount that it has ever reached. 
Of the two items which ponstltute 
this total, viz. the importations 
and the exportations^ the fint is 
the one in which the incr^^ ha^ 
chiefly occurred. At no former 
period did the valuQ of the im*^ 
ports ever amount to a miUiard 
(l,000,Q00,000f.) I they haw now 
exceeded the latter sum by 

** The general export commero^ 
(1,0 1 1 ,Q00,000f.)has Only exceeded 
by 8,000,000f. (equal to one per 
cent.) the extent of the same com- 
merce during the year 1839; byt^ 
on comparing it with the averag|e 
resulting from the con(iblnation of 
the five preceding years, an in- 
crease of twelve per cent, wiQ be 

'^ The special coipmerce (that is 
to say, the commerce which in« 
eludes on the one hand the fbqreign 
productions which Franoe impqrts 
for her own consumption, and 
on the other those ansing froni 
her own soil or her mapufae- 
turing industry, which she sen^ 
abroad) includes in the sum 
total of 2,06d,000,000r. a Talue 
of l,442,000,000f ; viz. importa- 
tions 747,000,OOOf., and expcvta 
695,000,000f. Theincioaae^tbe 
special commerce has equally oc- 
curred, as in the case of the general 
commerce, in the value Q^ the 
imports and in that of the exports, 
especially in the former. A oom- 
parison with the year 1889 ai|d 
the average of the last five jrean^ 


titflws an inPWW^ ii( favQut (tf T)ip distribution of aommerpe 
1^40, v)f' of fif^p aq^ twenty- by Uvd ani) tefirTrt 
sj^ per cent, in the impQ)rtQ- " Conudwed in rplatiaii to tl>e 
tiani, Apd f|f three anil fourteen 4)itini:tioa esictin^ between tUfi 
^ C^nt. iq ^ eYpoEtationa." «ea and land camniprce, tbe teul 

• * ■ * ampunt of tbe coramerriq] invent- 

ment is divided as follows : 

Sea commerce .... 1,481,000,000, = 71-8 per cent. 

Land commerce . . . 582,000,000, = 28-2 per cent. 
" The Vfllpe of the grticleii of countries of importation and ex- 
which ^\^^ iBnd commerPe and the portation in the follonin^ pro- 
unitej Ipppft^and exports PDi)s)Bt, portions; 
was distributed between the various 

Switzerland ...... 161,000,000 or 27 percent. 

BelpuRi 195,000,000 or 83 r—" 

Ssrdinian States .... 105,000,000 or 18 — p-r 

Germany 98,000,000 or 17 

Spain , , . 73,000.000 or 12 ■ „ 

Prussia 18,000,000 gr 3 

Kfftherlands 3,000,000 or 1 

Total ..... 682,000,000 100 

" The value of the entire sea Vtose not in ^Hrope, tie 1^rencl( 

commerce was distributed in 1840 CnlonicSt and tbe great fisheries^ 

umon^ the countries of Europe, in the following manner : 

Countries in EuMpe . . . 757,000,000 or 51 per cent. 

Countries out of Europe . . 582,000,000 or 39 t^-^ 

Cnktolei and fisheries . . . 142,000,000 or lO .^^„ 

Total . , , . 1481,000,000 100 

The state of tlie intport-tradP— ^ iu the general, and of tbirty-seTen 
" With respect to importation, and eighty-eight per cent, in th(i 
the United States take the first sperial commerce. [This increase 
filoce in the gener^ commerce, principally occurred in cottour 
which in I8t19 was orcupied by wool.) The value of the mer- 
the Sardinian States The fbrmer chandise in\ported fVom England, 
jioweriHsetduivnfori76,OOO.OOOf., which was In 1835 61,000,000f, 
or seventeen \Kr cent., in the sum as regards the general, and 
total of the iippqftati^ins, and for 32,000,000f. as regards the siiecial, 
|18,Q0b,00Of., or sixteen per cent, commerce, h^is, under this two- 
la tlie value of Uie produce ad- fold head, pr<«|ressively increased 
titttted for consumption. Cofnpared each year, ana rose in 1840 to 
with the year 1839, and with thp 110,00O,O00f. and 74,000,OOOf. 
average, the year 1840 shows, as Thig is, in six years, an increase 
re|puds tbe products itpportcd from of 60 and 131 per cent- The jnii 
the United States, an increase of portattons from Belgium have been 
■eventi^-seven and Atty fier cent, greater than tbete^ the praea^ng 

266] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841» 

year> without at the same time at- After the ahove three powers^ fd- 

tainingthe same amount as in 1838. low^ according to the relative im- 

Previously to 1835 that power portance of the amount of goods^ 

had never contributed to our in- &c. sent by them to U8» the Sar^ 

temal consumption more than dinian States^ Switzerland, Spain, 

60^000,000f. per annum. Since that and Russia. 

period this amount has increased ^'Theseamounts, which in 1835 

on an average to 71,000,000f. In were as follows, viz.— 
1840 it rose to 76,000,OOOf.* 

Sardinian States .... 99,000,000 and 67,000,000 

Switzerland 59,000,000 — 14,000,000 

Spain 39,000,000 — 26,000,000 

Russia 21,000,000 — 17,000,000 

rose in 1840 to the following amounts, viz.— - 

Sardinian States 108,000,000 and 73,000,000 . . 9 
Switzerland . . 70,000,000 — 21,000,000 . . 19 and 50 
Spain .... 43,000,000 — 34,000,000 . .10—31 
Russia . . . 34,000,000 — 31,000,000 . .62 — 82 

" Our importation commerce from the English Indies, the Two 
with Germany has not made the Sicilies, the Hanseatic Towns, 
same progress. The value of the Tuscany, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, 
goods, &c. of which it consisted was Hayti, Cuba, the Barbary States, 
in 1835, 57,000,000f. ; and only Denmark, and Egypt- 
amounted in 1840 to 54,000,000f. Exports- 
being a lower sum than that of '' As regards exportations, a 'sen* 
the average of the five years pre- sible decrease has occurred in our 
ceding. At the same time it must commerce with the United States, 
be observed, that, in comparison Instead of 204,000,000f., the 
with the year 1839, our importa- amount of the articles of every de- 
tions from that country have pre- scription exported in 1839 to 
sented an increase, as much in the that country, we only sent cot 
general as in the special commerce. 136,000,000f. in 1840. This is a 
The case has been otherwise as difference of at least thirty-three 
regards Turkey, Norway, the per cent., and the decrease has not 
Dutch Indies, Chili, the French onlyafiected the generalbut also the 
colonies, Algiers, and the French special commerce, and in the same 
factories in India. The value of proportion. Notwithstanding the 
the merchandise which we have exports to England have risen to 
received from each of the above the sum total of 160,000,000f., (of 
countries has not reached so high which 105,000,000f. consist of our 
an amount as in 1839. An in* internal produce, both agricultural 
crease has taken place, on the con- and manufacturing,) they have not 
trary, in the amount of the imports reached so high an amount as in 
1839 J the decrease, however, is 

• The average annual importations not of much importance, not hav- 

from BclKiuni into France, from the ing exceeded as regards the genend 

yearg 1831 to 1840 inclusive, amounted ° ® *. ® ^- 

to about 62,000,000f. (spccuU com- commerce one per cent, nor as 

merce.) regards the special two per cent. 



Out of 51,000,000f. value sent by 
us into Belgium^ 45,000,000f. con- 
sisted of the products of our soil 
and our manufacturing industry ; 
being the same amount as that of 
1838, and 6,000,000f. more than 
that of 1839. Spain has afforded 
to our special exportation com- 
merce a market for 79,000,000f. 
There has been for several years 
past a firm increase in our exports 
to that country. Those to Algiers 
are also increasing ; they have 
risen to 22,000,000f , treble the 
amount to which they reached in 
1835. Among the other countries 
mentioned, those with which our 
exportation commerce has sustained 
the greatest increase are » the Sar- 
dinian States, Germany, Brazil, 
Russia, Chili, and Mexico. A 
decrease equally considerable may 
be observed, on the contrary, in 
the export of our produce into 
Egypt, Turkey, India, the coasts of 
Africa, and Switzerland." 

From an enumeration of some 
of the chief articles of import 
and export, we select those which 
will most interest the English 

" Cotton- wools are reckoned at 
151,000,000f. (fourteen per cent.) 
in the total value of the goods 
imported ; and out of these, 
151,000,000f., 94,000,000f. were 
entered for internal consumption. 
In comparison with 1835, these 
sums show a surplus difference of 
sixty-seven and thirty-two per 
cent. There has been a decrease 
in the arrival of sugars from our 
colonies, but an increase in the 
amount cleared; the surplus differ- 
ence is nine per cent. From 1835 
to 1838, the value of the foreign 
grain entered for home consump- 
tion did not exceed on the average 

4,000,000f. a year; it rose in 

1839 to 25,000,000f., and in 1840 
to 47,000,000f. Wools in general, 
the importation of which gave way 
in 1839, have sustained a further 
decrease as regards the special 
commerce. The amount of the 
imports of spun-yarn and hemp, 
which scarcely reached I0,000,000f. 
in 1835, has risen from year to 
year to nearly 28,000,000f. No 
sensible variation has taken place 
in the importations of bar-iron 
and rough cast-iron ; there appears 
in the amounts relating to the 
latter article a tendency to decrease. 
Those of coal have progressively 
increased since 1835. The year 

1840 presents the largest amount 
of the whole period (l 8,000, OOOf.) ; 
that of 1835 was only 12,000,000f. 
The value of the cattle imported, 
which increased from 7,000,000f. 
in 1835 to 9,000,000f. in 1839, 
was only 8,000,000f. in 1840. 

'* Our exports of cotton and 
woollen webs are progressing, but 
the former in a larger proportion 
than the latter. On comparing, 
in this particular, the two extreme 
years of the period between 1835 
and 1840, there will be found in 
favour of the last year, an increase 
of seventy-four per cent, in favour 
of thecotton, and sixty- one percent, 
in favour of the woollen webs. 

^* The export of our wines has 
been more considerable than in 
1839, and less so than in 1838. 
It has varied but little during the 
last six years. The same with 
brandies ; which show, in com- 
parison with 1839, and with the 
mean year, an increase of thirty- 
one and eight per cent, in favour 
of the exportations of the year 



258] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 


SvAi^.'^Quarrel between Spain and Portugal relative io the Navigation 
of the JDouro — Convention made in 1 ^Zbjor the free Navigation of that 
River — Preparations for War in the two Countnes-^Settlemeni of 
the Question — Expulsion of the Papal Nuncio from Spain^^SiiUng 
of the Cortes-^ Espartero proclaimed sole Regent of Spain^^Nerv 
Cabinet formed by him — Speech of the President of the. Council j and 
Policy of the Government — Question of the Guardianship of the 
Queen^Senor Arguelles appointed GuardianF-^Manifesto of the 
Queen- Mother, and reply of the Spanish Govemment'^lHSurrecikm 
in behalf of the Queen-Mother at Pampeluna and Vittona^^Procla- 
motion issued by Don Manuel Monies de Oca — Desperate attempt to 
seize tlie person of the Queen cd night in the Palace at Madrid'^ 
Trial and Execution of Don Diego Leon^^Energetic Measures of 
Espartero-^Suppression of the Insurrectum-^Question ofpartidpa^ 
tion of the Qjueen' Mother in the qffair^-^Correspondemse tit Paris 
between her and Senor Olozaga on the subJect-^Suspenskm of the 
payment of her Pension by Espartero — Suppression of the fueroa.-— 
Portugal. — Change qf Ministry, and List of the Nem Appoint" 

WE mentioned in our pre- A short account of the orij^ and 
ceding volume^ that to- nature of this dispute we now 
wards the end of last year a quarrel give. In the year 1835 a Con- 
had arisen between Spain and Por- vention (a translation of which, 
tugal, with respect to the question at length, we subjoin in a note^*) 
of the free navigation of the Douro. was concluded between Spain aiuL 

* Convention fob the free Navigation tentiariet, &c. &c« Sec. ; which plenipo* 
OF thb Douro. tentiaries, after conferring tog«tJi6r, and 
Their Majesties the Most Faithful exchanging their full powers, haveafreed 
Queen Donna Maria Segunda and the upon the following articles:— 
Queen Regent of Spain, during the mi- " Article I. The DavigatioQ of the 
nority of her daughter Donna Isabel river Douro is declared free to the aiib- 
Seg^nda, desiring to give all possible jects of both Crowns^ without any re- 
extension to the reciprocal commerce striction or special condition more fli- 
between the two states by the free navi- vourable to the one than the other, 
gation of the rivers common to both, throughout the whole extent in which 
and recognizing that this advantageous it may now be navigable, or may here- 
principle is applicable to the Rio Douro, after be navigable, 
have determined to conclude a conven- " 2; The two high contracting partiei 
tion for the regulation of that important engage by the present article to keep 
object} and have appointed as plenipo* the navigation of the Pooro minter- 



Portuffid, the object of which was 
to apply to the river Douro the 
principle which establishes the free 
navigation of rivers traversing dif- 
ferent states. At that time the 
constitutional charter was the po- 
litical code of Portugal, in virtue 
of which the Government was 
authorized to make treaties with- 
out the acquiescence of the Legis- 
lature ; the execution^ however, of 
that Convention by one of its 
articles remained subject to the 
regulations to be settled by a mixed 
commission of Portuguese and 
Spanish members. That commis- 
sion not having concluded those 
regulations, another commission 
was appointed, which, in fact, 
brought them to a conclusion. 
These regulations containing a cer- 
tain tantf, and some penalties 

rupted^ and in the state in which it now 
is, each in the respective part of its ter- 
ritory; and they moreover piomise to 
endeavour efficaciously to improve, in 
every possible manner, the said naviga- 

^' 3. The duties for the navigation and 
its system of police shall be determined 
by means of a tariff and regulation, the 
terms of which shall be uniform and 
perfectly equal with respect to the sub- 
jects of botn Crowns, in conformity with 
the practTce established between nations 
enjoying the use of the waters of the 
same river. 

^^4. To form the tariff and regula- 
tion mentioned in the preceding article 
there will be created a mixed commis- 
sion comjposed of four commissioners, 
two of whom must be Portuguese and 
two Spaniards, appointed by tbeir re- 
spective Governments. 

*' 5. The said mixed commission will 
assemble within the term of one month 
at the latest after exchange of the rati- 
fications of the present Convention, in 
that point of the territory of her Most 
Faithful Majesty or of her Catholic 
Majesty, which in the judgment of the 
two Governments may appear most con- 
venient for facilitating their labours. 

** ۥ Neither of the respective Go- 
venuMBtt can augment th« navigation 

against those who should contra^ 
vene its dispositions, were, ac- 
cording to the constitution, to be 
subjected to the approval of the 
Legislature, whose principal pre- 
rogative is the imposition of tri- 
butes, and whose principal occupa^ 
tion is to give penal sanction to 
the laws. 

This tariff and the regulations 
annexed to it were submitted, in 
June last year, by the mixed com- 
jnission to the Portuguese Cortes, 
in a note drawn up in the follow- 
ing terms : — 

" Senhores, — The Convention of 
the 31st of August, 1835, on the 
navigation of the river Douro, 
having been concluded and ratified, 
a mixed commission of Portuguese 
and Spaniards was appointed to 
. frame, in conformity with what is 

duties fixed by the tariffs of the mixed 
commission, except by common accord, 
on the same being judged convenient; 
nor can either impose, under any other 
denomination whatsoever, any new duty 
to be borne by the navigators. 

" 7. The two high contracting parties 
engage by the present article not to con- 
cede any exclusive privilege for convey- 
ance by the Douro of merchandise or 
persons, and to leave the same always 
open to competition. 

" 8. Her Most Faithful Mjyesty en- 
gages to take the necessary measures to 
establish in the city of Oporto a place of 
deposit for all the produce and mer- 
chandise brought from Spain and des- 
tined for foreign trade, or for being in- 
troduced into the coast of the Spanish 
peninsula. The merchandise thus de- 
posited shall pay to the Government of 
her Most Faithful Majesty only the same 
low duty of deposit which is now payable 
in the free ports of Lisbon and Oporto. 
Nevertheless, if it should be for the 
convenience of the commerce to intro- 
duce into Portugal any of the said de- 
posited articles of merchandise, the ad- 
mission and sale of which may be lawful, 
the same shall pay the custom-house 
duties payable by the most favoured 
nation, and in this case the deposit duty 
will not be exacted* 



Stipulated in article 4 of the said 
Convention, the regulation neces- 
sary for the execution thereof. 
The regulation then framed heing 
disapproved by the Government of 
her Majesty, it was necessary to 
accede to the urgent applications 
of the Spanish Government to 
proceed to the framing of a new 
regulation, which was on the part 
of the Portuguese Government 
committed to the charge of Por- 
tuguese commissioners of acknow- 
ledged capacity and patriotism. 

" These commissioners concurred 
with the Spanish commissioners in 
the regulation which I have the 
honour to present to this Chamber. 
Important alterations from the first 
have been made in it, and the in- 
troduction of Spanish produce is 
restricted for the purpose of pro- 


9. Her Catholic Majesty engages, 
by the present article, to declare port of 
admiRsion or port of shipment that port 
which will DOW have to be provided in 
the environs of Fregenoda ; and the 
articles of lawful commerce introduced 
into that port from Portugal shall be 
subject to the same duties as are paid in 
the other ports of Spain. 

*^ 10. As to what concerns the custom 
dutif"^, the mode of collection, the ad- 
minisirativs and security regulations for 
preventing frauds against the fiscal laws, 
each or the two respective Governments 
will proceed with regard to the said 
points in conformity with their natural 
independence, according to the method 
and form best suited to their interests. 

"11. The tariff and regulation to 
which articles 3 and 4 refer shall, as 
soon as they may be approved by both 
contracting parties, be understood to 
form an integral part of the present 

** 12. The present Convention may 
be revised and modified on the requi- 
sition of either of the two contracting 
parties, after the lapse of twenty-one 
years from the date of the ratification. 

•* 13. Tne ratifications shall be ex- 
changed within the period of one month, 
or as soon as possible. 

" In faith of which the resj'cct've 

tecting our industry and our wine 

'^ But as this regulation contains 
provisions which, in virtue of the 
constitution of the monarchy, re- 
quire the approbation of the Cortes, 
it is my duty to submit the follow- 
ing proposition to the Chamber :— 

** * The Government is author* 
ized to carry into execution the 
articles comprehended in titles 5 
and 7, and in the respective tables 
of the regulation of the 28th of 
May, 1840, which is to form part 
of the Convention signed on the 
31st of August, 1835, with the 
Spanish Government, for the free 
navigation of the Douro. 

<* ' rodbigo da fonskca 

*' < Office of the Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs, June 30, 1840.*' * 

Plenipotentiaries sign and 8eal the tame 
with the seal of their arms, in Lisbon, 
August 31, 1835. 

" DuKK op Palmbluu 

" EvARisTo Pbrbs OB Castbo*'*' 


'< DonAa Maria,'' &c. (Here followt 
the preamble as before, and a copy of 
the treaty.) 

'* The said Convention, the tenoor of 
which is as above recited, being pre- 
sented to me, and all therein contained 
having been well reviewed, considered, 
and examined by me, after having heard 
the Council of State, I ratify and con- 
firm it in all its parts, and by these pre- 
sents give it for firm and valid, in order 
that it may yield and produce its due 
effect, promising on faith and Royal 
word to observe the same, to execute 
and cause it to be executed and ob- 
served in every possible manner. In 
testimony and confirmation of the afore- 
said, I cause to pass the present deed as 
by me signed, passed with the appended 
seal of the Royal arms, and reported by 
the nndersifrned Counsellor of State, Mi- 
nister and Secretary of State. 
'^ (liven in the Palace of the Necessi- 
dades, Sept.20, 1835. 
" Thk Queen. 

** MlROUESS DE SALOimii/' 



The agricultural interest, how- 
ever, in Portugal, was strongly 
opposed to these regulations, as in- 
jurious to the country ; and the 
Ministry not daring to offend so 
powerful a body, debated the mat- 
ter amongst themselves for three 
weeks, until it became impossible 
to hold assembled, for a longer 
period, the Cortes, which had al- 
ready been sitting for six months 
previously. The Government, 
therefore, was compelled to pro- 
rogue the Chambers, and promised 
to occupy them with the question 
of the navigation of the Douro, 
in the following session — that of 
the present year. 

This procrastination, however, 
gave umbrage to the Spanish Go- 
vernment; and in the month of 
December a courier extraordinary 
arrived at Lisbon from Madrid, 
with despatches from the Marquess 
de Saldanha, Portuguese Plenipo- 
tentiary at the latter court, stating 
that the Spanish Regency had in- 
timated to him its determination 
to enforce the protracted treaty for 
the free navigation of the river 
Douro vi et armis, if the same 
were not fully and unconditionally 
complied with within twenty-five 
days, to effect which an army of 
12,000 men was in readiness to 
march on Badajoz and the southern 
frontier. A Cabinet Council was 
immediately assembled, when it 
came to the resolution to claim 
the interference of England, upon 
the grounds of the casus foederis, 
and the Espoir brig of war was 
privately ordered off to England 
by Lord Howard de VValden with 
the result on the following day. 

For some time it appeared likely 
that open hostilities would com- 
mence, and active preparations for 
the invasion of Portugal were 
anade by the Spanish Government. 

Happily, however, evil results 
were prevented by the assembling 
of the Portuguese Cortes in the 
beginning of the present year; 
which, after an ineffectual resist- 
ance on the part of the Opposition 
members, who absented themselves 
at last from the Chamber of Depu- 
ties, approved of finally the several 
articles of the Convention, and 
passed a measure necessary to give 
effect to the regulations on the 
16th of January, thus satisfying 
the wishes of Spain with regard to 
the navigation of the Douro. 

Early this year, Espartero gave 
a proof of the little estimation in 
which he held the priesthood in 
Spain, by expelling from that 
country the Papal Nuncio, S. Pe- 
rez de Arellano, who, though never 
formally accredited in that capa- 
city, had been recognised by the 
Queen *s Government. On the 
29th of December last year, the 
Duke of Victory addressed an 
order for his expulsion to M. Fer- 
rer, the Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, and thereby revoked the 
powers which had been granted to 
S. Arellano by a Royal Act, or- 
dered the closing of the Nuncio's 
office, the suppression of the Tri- 
bunal de la Rota, and the seques* 
tration of its papers, archives, and 
effects, and of the ecclesia.<!tical 
revenues and allowances granted 
to S. Arellano by the State ; but 
required that his private property 
should be respected. 

The Cortes held a sitting in 
April, of which M. Arguelles was 
President. The Minister for Fo- 
reign Affairs (as Minister of Fi- 
nance ad interim) presented the 
budget for the present year. The 
expenses of the country were esti- 
mated at 1,106,324,302 reals, and 
the revenue at 885,126,551 reals, 
leaving a deficiency of 221;197,751 

262] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

reals (2,220,000/. sterling.) This 
communication was referred to the 
committee on the budget. 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs 
then stated, in reply to some ques- 
tions put to him, that Queen 
Christina had not received any part 
of her pension, and that in conse- 
quence of the poverty of the 
Treasury, Queen Isabella, like all 
the other pensioners of the civil list, 
had only received one-third of the 
pension settled on her. 

The Cortes this year were occu- 
pied for a long time in debating 
the question, whether there should 
be constituted one sole Regent of 
Spain, — and on the 8th of May 
they decided by a majority of 153 
votes against 136 in the affirmative. 
Afterwards there was a second 
ballot to determine in whom the 
sole authority should be concen- 
trated, when the following result 
appeared :•— 

In favour of Espartero 179 
In favour of Augustin 

Arguelles 103 

Votes lost • 3 

Espartero was accordingly pro- 
claimed sole Regent of the King- 
dom on the 9th of May, all the 
Ministers waited upon Espartero 

Senor Gonzales 


Senor Sarra-y-Rull 
Senor Infante 
Senor San Miguel... 
Senor Garcia Gamba 
Senor Alonzo 






The new Ministers made their 
appearance before both Chambers 
on the 22nd of May. In his cap- 
acity of President of the Council, 
S. Gonzales delivered a speech con- 
stituting a programme of the po- 
licy of the new Government; of 
which the following is an outline-— 

to congratulate him on his elevation 
to the sole Regency, — and when 
the officers of the garrison and the 
civil authorities psud their respects 
the same day, he promised ener- 
getically to defend the throne, the 
constitution, and the national in- 
dependence. Next day he was 
formally sworn in as Regent in the 
Chamber of Deputies in presence 
of the assembled Cortes. After he 
had taken the oath, he delivered a 
speech to the Cortes, which gave 
great satisfaction on account of the 
constitutional principles embodied 
in it. The Duke of Victory then 
proceeded to the palace, and diortly 
afterwards appeared on the balcony 
with the young Queen to review 
the troops of the Hne> who passed 
in front of the palace, the Duke 
standing uncovered behind the 

At first the old Ministry was 
appointed pro tempore; bnt soon 
afterwards the Regent empowered 
S. Gonzales to form a new Cabinet 
which he was unable to accomplish. 
Espartero next applied to S. 
Olozaga, who also fsdled; but at 
last S. Amodovar was successful in 
getting together a Government 
composed of the following Mem* 
hers of Administration.^— 

C President of the Council and Min« 
(^ ister of Foreign AfiaLrs* 

Minister of Finance. 

Minister of the Interior. 

Minister of War. 

Minister of Marine. 

Minister of Justice. 

He began by stating that he 
would govern the country with the 
aid of the present Cortes. He 
pledged himself to respect ^ accom- 
plished facts," and to apply all his 
energy to consolidate the thnme 
of Isabel 2nd and the institn^ 
tions of the country. He imU 



endeavour, he said^ to preserve 
with foreign powers relations of 
amity and good understanding, and 
at the same time carefully cause 
the national dignity and indepen- 
dence to he respected. A friendly 
intercourse would he kept up with 
the American repuhlics, and the 
Minister would neglect nothing to 
promote the improvement and wel- 
fare of the colonies. One of the 
first hills which would he suhmitted 
to the Legislature would have for 
its ohject to secure an honourable 
suhsistence to the clergy. Another 
would he immediately afterwards 
presented, for regulating the four 
per cent, tax voted by the Cortes 
in 1840. "The judicial institutions 
are to be reorganised, on a plan 
more in harmony with the wants 
of the age. The home department 
will also undergo modifications cal« 
culated to accelerate the despatch 
of public business. The Govern- 
ment will, by all possible means, 
promote the spirit of agricultural, 
manufficturitig, and commercial as- 
sociation. The education of the 
people will be the object of its 
particular solicitude. Every atten- 
tion will be paid to intix)duce a 
system of economy in all the 
branches of the administration, 
and to diminisli the public burdens : 
the army is to be reduced ; the 
sale of national property encour- 
aged ; the Ministry of Finance to 
be reorganised according to the 
system of centralization; and 
whenever the Government feels 
obliged to conclude any financial 
transaction the greatest publicity 
will be given thereto. Finally, 
the navy will be placed on a more 
respectable footing." 

The chief question that now 
oecuj^ed the attention of the Cortes 
was that of the guardianship of 
Hbe joong Queen Isabel 2nd* The 

Ministry requested the Queen 
Mother to relinquish this office, 
but she, without sending a positive 
refusal, attached such conditions to 
her assent to the Ministerial pro- 
position that the Government could 
not accept them. The question 
was referred to a Committee of the 
Chamber of Deputies, and in its 
report, which was presented in 
June, it declared its opinion that 
the Queen Dowager not residing 
in Spain could not discharge the 
functions of Guardian to Queen 
Isabel, and that the office beins 
now vacant the Government should 
call a meeting of both Houses for 
the purpose of appointing a suc- 
cessor to her Majesty. The office 
of Guardian to the Queen was 
afterwards in the Chamber of 
Deputies declared to be vacant by 
a majority of 129 votes to 1, and 
the Senate subsequently passed a 
vote to the same efiect, and Senor 
Arguelles was appointed Guardian 
of the youthful Queen and her 
sister. About the same time the 
payment of the annual sum of 
12,000,000 of reals (120,000/.) 
formerly enjoyed by Queen Chris- 
tina as Regent was discontinued 
and she w&s restricted to the join- 
ture insured to her by King Fer- 
dinand on her marriage. 

But the ex- Regent was determin- 
ed not to be deprived of the office of 
Guardian to her children without 
making an efibrt to preserve what 
she called her rights, and accor- 
dingly she addressed to the Spanish 
nation from Paris a long document 
dated July 19, in which she solemn- 
ly protested against the act of the 
Cortes in nominating a successor 
to her. 

To this manifesto the Spanish 
Government published a long re- 
ply, dated August 2, and signed 
the Duke de la Victoria and An« 

264] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

tonio Gonzales. As a kind of 
apology for noticing it in such a 
manner they state, that the letter di- 
rected to Don Baldomero Espartero 
might be termed private, if it did 
not contain an express command to 
publish forthwith the Queen's pro- 
test in the Madrid Gazette* Thus 
it was evident that the letter was 
officiallv addressed to the Re£;ent 
of Spain ; that to regard it as a 
private communication would have 
been to disown that dignity, and 
that the command of immediate 
publication betrayed the pretension 
to resume an authority which the 
Queen Mother, having abdicated^ 
no longer retained. 

'* There is in this pretension a 
new inconsistency on the part of the 
Queen Mother. Can we forget 
the celebrated act of Valencia, by 
which her Majesty renounced the 
Regency of Spain, the message 
which, with that object, she ad- 
dressed to the Cortes, or the argu- 
ments employed by the Ministry 
she herself had created, and of 
which I, as President of the 
Council of Ministers, was the 
chief — arguments employed to 
dissuade her from that step ? Every 
Spaniard must remember the mani- 
festo signed by her Majesty at 
Marseilles on the 8th of November 
last, and which concluded with 
the words, '* that she who had 
been Queen of Spain, sought for 
nothing but permission to love her 
daughter, and respect her memory." 
And after declarations as explicit 
as they were free and solemn, can 
she pretend to retain an authority 
renounced by that first act, and 
which renunciation is confirmed 
and acknowledged by the second ?" 

After admitting that the late 
King Ferdinand 7Ui had appointed 
Queen Christina guardian to his 
iaugbters they assert that it cannot 

be contested that those Princesses 
the one as Queen and the other as 
immediate heiress to the Crown, 
belonged to the nation, and that 
they were placed under the pro- 
tection and safe-keeping of the 
nation and committed to the Cortes. 
The document goes on to say — 

" Now, the question of the guard- 
ianship is confined within a narrow 
compass, and it is only requisite to 
decide whether or not the august 
minors stand in need of that pro- 
tection, for in the affirmative case, 
the Cortes cannot but extend it to 
them, and consequently appoint a 
guardian. This question vras de- 
cided by the Queen Mother herself 
when in a foreign country, and 
consequently she left herscdf no 
discretionary power of ailing at 
any time violence, constramt, or 
deprivation of liberty. She herself, 
in her manifesto sent fix)ni Mar- 
seilles, said — ** I have laid down 
the sceptre, and have given up my 

The Infantas were then aban- 
doned, and consequently required 
protection, which it was neoessaiy 
the Cortes should afford them, and 
for that purpose give them a guard- 
ian. Under such circumstances 
the testament of Ferdinand 7th 
was useless and inefficacious. It 
did not fulfil, and could not fulfil, 
the object of protecting the illus- 
trious Princesses. It could serve 
as little to appeal to the laws of 
the Partida, which never could be 
considered to have such authority. 
Still less could the civil code, whidh 
relates to common guardianships, 
be referred to, for the tutelage of 
princes never was governed by that 
system of law. 

Taking for granted, then, the 
full recognition of the fact, that 
the illustrious Infantas were left 
without protection^ 



tutelage, abstracted from many 
other considerations^ resolves itself 
into the same state in which it 
would have stood had Ferdinand 
7th named no guardian, the same 
as if the Princess had also no 
mother, no widow mother, in 
which case the Cortes must have 
given them a guardian. 

The Cortes have, therefore, dis- 
charged one of the most important 
duties which the constitution im- 
poses. Far from having overstepped 
the laws, or any article of the con- 
stitution, as is asserted in the pro- 
test, they have been guided strictly 
as it was their duty to be — ^^by the 
fundamental law. It must, there- 
fore, also be concluded that the 
declaration of the Cortes is not a 
forced and violent usurpation of 
powers, as is stated in the protest, 
but the legal exercise of the pow- 
ers conferred by the constitution.*' 

But although the Spanish Gov* 
«mment was able satisfactorily to 
dispose of the arguments by which 
the ex- Regent still claimed the 
guardianship of her daughters, 
she was not without partisans in 
Spain who regarded her in the 
light of an injured woman, and 
wno wished to restore her to the 
full enjoyment of that authority of 
which they contended that she had 
been unjustly and by force de- 
prived. Early in October an in- 
surrection in her behalf broke out 
at Pampeluna, where General 
O'Donnell at the head of two 
battalions gained possession of the 
citadel. He issued two proclama- 
tions, one to the army and the 
other to the inhabitants of Navarre. 
In these he accused Espartero of 
having traitorously seized the 
llegency, and of intending to mur- 
der the young Queen and her 
•Boyal sister in order to become 
Sovereign of Spain; and he 

charged the Government with 
spoliating the lands of the clergy, 
depriving the Biscayans of their 
fueros, and starving the army. 
These proclamations were signed 
" The Lieut, -General, Viceroy, 
and Capt.- General, ad interim, of 
Navarre and the Basque provinces, 
Leopold O'Donnell." Capt.-Gen- 
eral Ribeiro commanded the Cjo- 
vernment forces and the National 
Guard in the town upon which 
O'Donnell on the 8th of October 
opened a cannonade, and declared 
that he would repeat it every time 
that he or any of his party was 

A similar rising took place at 
Vittoria, where Don Manuel 
Montes de Oca hoisted the stand- 
ard of rebellion and issued a pro- 
clamation in which he styled him- 
self ^' A Minister of Marine (under 
the Presidency of Perez de Castro) 
Memberof the Provisional Govern- 
ment of Spain during the absence 
of the Queen- Regent Maria Chris- 
tina of Bourbon." In this he 
threatened death to all such traitors 
as should after a certain time con- 
tinue to obey the orders of the 
revolutionary Government of Ma- 
drid. The question of the^ero* 
was again made the rallying-cry 
for the Biscayans and other inhabi- 
tants of the northern provinces, 
and in a proclamation addressed to 
them de Oca said — 

" Noble and valiant inhabitants 
of the Basque Provinces and of 
Navarre I — I promise you, in the 
name of this august Princess, the 
preservation of your fueros in all 
their integrity. You have con- 
quered them with the blood of your 
veins, by the sweat of your brow, 
and by the loyalty of your hearts. 
The commerce of the invincible 
Bilbao will again flourish under 
the shelter of protectuig lawst 

266] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

The industry of all the country 
will he admitted to the henefits of 
national industry ; in such a man- 
ner, nevertheless, that the farour 
granted to your lahour will not 
become a means of fraud and harm 
to the rest of the Spaniards. 

'* Basques and Navarrese !— You 
will have neither now nor later 
any other modification and regula- 
tion in vour secular ^Meros than 
those which you yourselves will 
establish by means of the only ex- 
clusive and legitimate representa- 
tion of the country^ that is, by 
your Juntas and your Cortes." 

Munagorri also raised the watch- 
word of *' Faz y fueros " at Ve- 

But these attempts were not 
confined to the provinces. On the 
night of the 7th of October a des- 
perate attempt was made at Ma- 
drid by a band of conspirators, 
headed by Generals Don Diego 
Leon and Concha, to storm the 
palace and get possession of the 
person of the Queen; but by 
means of the loyalty and courage 
of the guards in attendance, this 
bold enterprise was defeated. 

The following account is taken 
from a contemporary writer at 

'* As early as eight in the even- 
ing» on the day when the attempt 
Was made on the Palace, Genends 
Concha and Leon assembled their 
partisans to seize the young Queen 
and her sister. They relied upon 
the concurrence of the Royal 
Guard on duty outside the Palace. 
The Princesses were not aware of 
the first attempt, and showed no 
alarm until they heard the firing. 
At the usual hour for retiring they 
zefiued to go to bed, dedaring 
that they were too much fright- 
ened. They, however, became 
very aleepy^ aad during an intei^ 

val of quiet went to rest Tliey 
were, however, soon awakened by 
the conflict in the adjoining apart- 
ments, and believed they were lost, 
demanding with tears and screams 
that they should be concealed and 
saved. It was a long time before 
they could be pacified and made 
to suppress their heartrending cries 
and exclamations. The assailants 
having been driven from the 
Queen's apartments, the attend- 
ants endeavoured to aoothe the 
distress of the Princesses, and pre- 
vail upon them to go to abqi. 
Scarcely, however were they once 
more in bed, when a new attadk^ 
more violent than the first, was 
made ; the balls entered their cham" 
bet, and they again left their bed. 
The Queen and her sister began 
to say their prayers, earnestly doi- 
manding a confessor, as they be- 
lieved their last hour was come. 
They were saved by a species of 
miracle from the luuids of those 
who sought them, their fiafety 
being due only to the devoted 
courage of eighteen halberdieii, 
who performed prodigies of valonr. 
These veterans displayed all that 
chivalrous spirit which made our 
ancestors prder death to the aban- 
donment of a post whidi had been 
intrusted to tneir keeping. The 
force they had to reskt was con- 
siderably greater than their own* 
The leaders of the revolt ledconed 
eleven companies of the PrinoessVi 
Regiment within the Palaoe, be* 
sides the Royal Guard on dn^. 
The assailing troops surrendered 
immediately on their behog de- 
serted by Concha and Leon. As 
soon as the danger in whidi the 
Queen had been jrfaoed was past* 
she and her sister were prevailed 
upon to lay down to rest, bot onlf 
on mattresses laid in pacts of thenr 
chamber which di^'IboQglit 



safe from the balls. It was then 
four in the morniiie. To describe 
the terror they had undergone is 
impossible. Amidst their cries 
they said^ ' When mamma comes 
to know an this, she will write to 
Espartero to punish the wicked 
men/ On the 8th the garrison 
and National Militia were reviewed 
in front of the Palace, and when 
they filed off before the Queen, 
who was in the balcony, shouting 

* Viva el Reyna /* she turned to 
one of her attendants and said, 

* Without the halberdiers I should 
not now be alive !* " 

Several of the conspirators were 
pursued and arrested almost im- 
mediately in the neighbourhood of 
Madrid, and amongst them Don 
Di^o Leon. This brave and en- 
thusiastic young officer, when he 
was taken wore the full uniform 
of a General of Hussars, with nu« 
merous crosses and honours. He 
had distinguished himself in the 
war against Don Carlos, and by 
his chivalrous bearing gained him-^ 
self a high reputation. He was 
tried before a Council of War, and 
condemned to death. His execu- 
tion took place, on the 15 th of 
October, outside of the Gate of 
Toledo, and his last moments are 
thus docribed by an eye-witness* 

** A flash of his natural courage 
illuminated the last moments of 
the ill-fated chief. On arriving 
on the fatal ground, he descend^ 
with perfect composure from his 
carriage, and walked with the ut- 
most firmness of tread, dressed in 
full uniform, to the spot marked 
<Nil for him to meet his sorrowfbl 
eiid. He there, embracing Gene- 
ral Roncall and the clergyman in 
attendance, addressed a few words 
to the persons present, with a full 
and mniaken voice. He denied 
tohg a traitor or a ooward, of 

which he had been accused: he 
had given, he said, many days of 
glory to his country, and he did 
not then repent it : if he had done 
injury to any person, he there 
begged their forgiveness, as he 
forgave his enemies 5 and raising 
his voice, with an animated ges- 
ture, cried ' Viva Isabel Segundat 
Viva la LibertadI* He then bade 
his brother-soldiers farewell; and 
giving himself the word of com^" 
mand, the picquet fired and he 
was no more." 

Espartero was not wanting to 
the emergency ; and by means of 
his energeric measures this out-* 
burst of rebellion was quickly sup- 
pressed. He left Madrid on the 
19th of October fbr the North, 
and before his departure issued a 
proclamation denouncing the re- 
bellion, in which he reminded the 
people that he derived all his 
power from them, and iqjpealed 
to them whether he had in any 
respect violated the promises whic^ 
he had made to observe the Con- 
stitution. He committed, he said, 
the care of the Queen until his 
return, to the National Guard of 
Madrid. The insui]gent troo^ 
began rapidly to fall off f^tnn their 
leaders. A party of soldiers who 
were acting as escort to the Mar- 
quess de Alameda (an active leader 
in the xebeUion) an officer named 
Lara, and Montes de Oca, per« 
mitted the two former to escape, 
but seized upon Montes de Oca, 
and brought him back by force to 
Vittoria and delivered him up to 
Zurbano, one of Espartero's gene* 
rals. He was afterwards tried and 
shot. At Tolosa, Alava, and Gui- 
puscoa, the officers and soldiers 
who had declared themselves against 
the Regent returned to their doty, 
and on the 20th 0*Donnell or- 
dered the remtmnt of troops whidi 

2d8] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

he had left in Pampeluna to 
evacuate the citadel, and two or 
three days afterwards he crossed 
the frontier into France with 
ahout 2,500 men, and arrived at 

The next question is, whether 
the Queen Mother, then resident 
at the Court of Louis Philippe, had 
any, and what part, in the abor- 
tive insurrection of which we have 
thus briefly detailed the history. 
The Spanish Ambassador at this 
period in Paris was S. Olozaga, 
and when intelligence of the at- 
tempt on the palace of Madrid 
reached Paris, he immediately 
waited on Queen Christina, and 
(as he asserted) obtained from her 
a distinct disavowal of any par- 
ticipation in the conspiracy. Not 
long afterwards he addressed to 
her Majesty a letter, in which he 
stated that he had transmitted her 
disavowal to the Spanish Govern- 
ment, but as the insurgents still 
continued to use her name, he 
suggested that she should publish 
a declaration to the Spanish na- 
tion, to show that this was done 
without her authority and against 
her wishy or that her silence could 
only bear one interpretation. Queen 
Christina to this returned the fol- 
lowing reply through the medium 
of her private Secretary, '* The 
Queen Donna Maria Christina de 
Bourbon commands me to tell your 
Lordship that she docs not think 
proper to reply to your strange 
communication of the 12th of t^s 
month, in which the facts were 
mis-stated and her Majesty's words 

S. Olozaga rejoined that if he 
had misquoted the words of the 
Queen Mother, he was ready to 
transmit to his Government any 
more correct version furnished by 
her of what she had said^ aod xe^ 

fused any longer to hold oor. 
respondence with those who did 
not acknowledge his character as 
Envoy from the lawful R^;ent of 
Spain. The answer was in the 
name '* Don Jos^ de Castillo,'' the 
Queen's Secretary, and stated that 
'* considerations of a superior mind" 
alone induced her Majesty to break 
silence, with a view to proclaim 
her real sentiments, and give vent 
to her profound indignation. It 
then proceeded as follows: 

'' The Queen neither advised 
nor created the sad events which 
have again afflicted our unhappy 
country, while the tears and blood 
which during seven consecutive 
years were shed in the Peninsula 
were still flowing. A stranger to 
all the passions engendered by po- 
litical discords, her Majesty sup- 
ported with courage and resigna- 
tion the anguish which she has 
had to endure from the day when 
she lost sight of the two august 
orphans so dear to her hearL De- 
ploring, as she does, the error and 
infatuation of men who requited 
by insult and by the basest in- 
gratitude those benefits which they 
had received from her generous 
hand, and reconciled to lead a said 
but tranquil existence in a foreign 
land, her Majesty has invariably 
followed the pacific,, noble, and 
safe course which she has lidd out 
for herself under those painful cir- 
cumstances. No, her Majesty has 
neither advised nor excited civil 
war; and it was not posaUe for 
her to do so, after declaring in a 
recent public document the conso- 
lation which she felt at having 
been the constant promoter <X 
peace. It is elsewhere we must 
seek the causes of the new <v^]lisiff" 
which has broken out in Spain. 
Those causes are to be fouim in 
the attempts of fiavodoiia and Va^ 



lencia ; in the vicious origin of the 
Government constituted in Madrid, 
the work of the revolution of Sep- 
tember ; in the usurpation of royal 
authority ; in the illegality and 
unruly injustice of the measures 
of that Government in numerous 
and flagrant infractions of the Con- 
stitution and the laws ; in its im- 
prudent and scandalous obstinacy 
in violating the faith pledged at 
Bergara, and trampling under foot 
the ancient and venerable fueros 
of the generous Basques and No- 
varrese ; in the violent and iniqui- 
tous usurpation of the Queen's 
right to the guardianship of her 
illustrious daughters, — an usurpa- 
tion which loyal Spaniards viewed 
with stupor equalled only by their 
profound griefs because they wit- 
nessed on this and several other 
occasions the contempt entertained 
for divine and human laws ; and 
because they saw the honour and 
dignity of the mother of their 
Sovereign seriously offended." 

" In their implacable fury," not 
satiated with the persecution of 
Christina, ** the Revolutionists" 
^ perfidiously seek to cover her 
with opprobrium" — 

" After having plunged her in 
misfortune, the Revolutionists are 
striving to extort from her lips an 
iniquitous condemnation of those 
who, in resisting the most odious 
tyranny, have confidently invoked 
her august name. In their blind 
delirium they aspire to nothing 
less than to obtain from her Ma- 
jesty the sanction of all the acts 
and all the scandals of the Govern- 
ment of Madrid, which rekindled 
in Spain extinct discords ; and they 
wish, moreover, that her Majesty 
should lay the responsibility of 
this new conflagration to the noble 
defenders of the laws indignantly 
outraged. Their frenzy prompts 

them to call on her Majesty to 
avow herself indirectly the accent* 
plice of those who have the shame- 
ful impudence of calumniating, by 
charging them with regicidal pro- 
jects, the men who have courage- 
ously taken arms to deliver august 
and helpless orphans from the hard- 
est bondage. Her Majesty would 
cover herself with shame if she 
were to accept so ignominious a 
position. She will never sully her 
name by so black a stain." 

This declaration was made to 
S. Olozaga, in order that he might 
communicate it "to the Govern- 
ment which accredited him to the 
Court of France,*' as containing 
the ''exact and faithful meaning 
and true representation of what 
her Majesty said." The truth 
seems to be that Queen Christina 
was from the first in the secret of 
the conspiracy, and had it been 
successful, would have gloried in 
the enterprise, but as it proved 
abortive, she was afraid of em- 
barrassing herself if she appeared 
privy to the attempt, and yet felt 
all the shame of ingratitude in 
disavowing the actions of gallant 
men who had shed their blood in 
her cause. Hence her vacillation, 
and the inconsistency of her lan- 
guage. It was very generally be- 
lieved that there was another illus- 
trious actor behind the scenes, and 
that Louis Philippe was privy to 
and countenanced the insurrection, 
with the ultimate view of marry, 
ing his son, the Count d'Aumale, 
to the young Queen Isabel 2nd. 

But although the Queen Mother 
was beyond the territory of Spain, 
she was not allowed to escape alto- 
gether the consequences of the 
late attempt ; for on the 26th of 
October Espartero published a de- 
cree, dated Vittoria, in which, on 
account of '* just political reasons, 

270] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

. causes^ and conuderations of pub- 
lie propriety/' he suspended the 
payment of the pension assigned 
to her, until some new legal pro- 
visions should be adopted in that 
respect The Regent also, about 
the same time, issued a decree, 
reorganizing the Government of 
the Basque Provinces^ suppressing 
the fueroSf and removing the cus- 
tom-houses to the frontier. 

Portugal.— We have already 
given an account of the settlement 
of the dispute between Portugal 
and Spain, with reference to the 
question of the Navigation of the 
Douro, which was adjusted through 
the medium of the good offices of 
the British Government, in con- 
formity with the demands of Spain, 
although, at the opening of the 

Portugiiese CorteB, cm the 2d of 
January, this year, the Queen's 
Speech declared that the terms 
insisted on by Spain could not be 
complied wiih. 

In the month of June a diange 
of Ministry took place, and the 
following was appointed :-«^Prett- 
dent of the Council and Minister 
of the Home Department, Senhor 
Aguiar; Foreign Affiursi, Senhor 
R. F. Magalhaes ; Justice, Senhor 
C. Cabral; Finance, Senhor Avila; 
War, Conde de Villa Real ; Ma- 
rine and Colonies, Senhor Pes- 
tana. The Duke of Teroeira was 
appointed Military Governor of 
Lisbon, and Don Csrlos de Mas- 
caranhas Commander of the Mu- 
nicipal Guard. 




Affghanistan.— -jFVno/ overthro^v of Dost Mahomed by General 
Sir Robert Sale, at Purnan — Dost Mahonied takes refuge in the 
British camp^ and surrenders to Sir William M*Naghten — He is 
sent to Calcutta, and ultimaielv permitted to reside at Loodiatiah, — 
Capture of a Ghilziefort by Major Lynch, and destruction of its 
garrison, — Rout of the Ghilzies by Colonel ^mer.— Scinde,— Owr 
troops re- occupy Khelat — Defeat of Nasseer Khan by Major BoS' 
cawen-^ Melancholy fate of Lieutenant Loveday — The Brahoes 
under Nasseer Khan are again defeated at Peer Chutta-^Nasseer 
Khan surrenders himself to the British'-^VvinJAB''-^Death of Maha" 
rajah Kurruck Sing^His son and successor Non Nehal Sifig acci* 
dentally kiHed-^Shere Sing seizes the throne^-^Abdicates suddenly-'^ 
but afterwards gains possession ofLahore,and re-ascends the throne — 
Disorganised state of the Punjab. — Chivi A'^Mortality amongst the 
British troops at Chusan-^ Letter from Lord P aimer ston forwarded 
to Ningpo — Admiral Elliot sails northwards to the Pe^che»lee gulf 
'^Negotiations in the Peho river — Admiral Elliot returns to Chu" 
son — Keshen appointed by the Emperor Chief Commissioner at 
Canton, in the place of Lin — Captain Elliot opens negotiations 
with Keshen at Canton — Tedious delays^^Commodore Sir G. 
Bremer reduces the Bogue forts — Terms agreed upon between Cap^ 
tain Elliot and the Chinese authorities — Despatch qf Keshen — The 
British Government disapprove qf the terms qf the Convention''^ 
Captain Elliot is recalled, and Sir H, Pottinger appointed in his 
stead'^^Bad faith qf the Chinese — The British squadron attacks 
the forts^^^Sir G. Bremer and Majors General Gough prepare to 
assault Canton^^Keshen degraded — British flag qf truce fired upon 
by the Chinese — The factory at Canton taken possession of by the 
British — Imperial Edicts '^^ Canton at the mercy qf the Brittsh"^ 
Convention entered into by Captain Elliot — Death of Sir Le Fleming 
Senhouse-'^Arrival qf Sir H, Pottinger in the Canton waters — Pro. 
clamation issued by him-^Expedition sails to the Northward — Cap~ 
tain Elliot leaves China. — Turkey, Syria, and Egypt— Conrfi/f6?w 
offered by Admiral Stopford to the Pacha qf Egypt -^T hey are 
accepted by the latter — HU communication to the Grand Vizier^^ 
The Pasha delivers up the Turkish fket^-^Further negotiations with 
the Porte — Final settlement of the dispute — Changes in the Ministry 
at Constantinople^Letler oti the state of Syria. 

272] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

last volume we gave an ac- 
count of the gallant exploit of 
Brigadier Dennie^ at Bamean, in 
which, with a mere handful of 
native troops^ he completely routed 
the army of Dost Mahomed^ who 
after the action fled across the 
Hindoo Koosh> into the Khoolum 
territory. In the mean time> Sir 
Robert Sale, with the force which 
had been despatched into the Kohis- 
tan, (a district at the base of the 
mountains^ and stretching East and 
West within thirty miles of Cabul,) 
was employed in reducing the 
strong-holds of the partizans of the 
ex-King in that country, and ex 
perienced considerable difficulty, 
owing to the determined manner 
in which the forts were defended. 
Though abandoned by the Wali of 
Khoolum, who, after the affair of 
Bamean, came to terms with Dr. 
Lord, (our political agent in Aff- 
ghanistan,) stipulating that he 
would neither assist nor harbour 
Dost Mahomed, the latter sum- 
moned his son, Afzul Khan, to 
join him, and moved from Nijrow 
towards the Ghorebund Pass, lead- 
ing into the Kohistan valley, to 
effect the junction. Sir Robert 
Sale> hearing of this movement, 
resolved to frustrate its object, and 
breaking up his camp at Balan 
proceeded towards Pur wan. The 
following is a short account of the 
localities of the ground : — The 
Ghorebund river enters the valley 
at its North-west angle ; about six 
miles from thence, to the East- 
ward, the smaller river Pur wan, 
issues from the mountains, and, 
after a course of six or seven miles, 
falls into the Ghorebund, as does 
the Punjshere river, near Beghram, 
after a course of sixteen or seven- 
teen miles. These three streams 
form the passes called respectively, 

the Ghorebund, the Purwan, and 
the Punjshere Pass. We give the 
despatch of Sir R. Sale, written 
after the action which terminated 
in the complete and final overtbiow 
of Dost Mahomed. 

To Major-General Sir Willoi:^hliy 
Cotton, G.C.B. and K.C.H., 
&c. &c. &c. CabuL 
'' Sir, — Having received intel- 
ligence that Dost Mahomed Khan, 
with a number of armed followers, 
had taken possession of some forts 
in this direction, from which be 
proposed moving to-day towards 
the Ghorebund Pass, with the 
view of effecting a junction with 
his son Mahomed Afzul Khan, I 
determined on endeavouring to 
frustrate the attempt. Accord- 
ingly at 6 A. M. I broke up my 
camp at Balan, the Fort of Meer 
Musjeedee, and moved on this 
position. An advanced oolumn, 
consisting of four companies d[ 
H. M.'s 13th Light Infantry, the 
two Flank Companies of the d7th 
N. I., one company of the 27tbi 
N. I., the two six-pounders of the 
Shah*s, two squadrons of the 2nd 
Light Cavalry, and 200 of Ander* 
son's Horse, the whole under the 
command of Lieut- Col. Salter, 
preceded the main body, which 
was commanded by myselfT 

*' On approaching Purwan, the 
forts and villages were rapidly 
evacuated by the enemy, who were 
seen Ajing to the hills in great 
numbers ; I cannot compute them 
at fewer than 500 horse, and 3,500 
foot; the native reports reo^ved 
swell their numbers to a mudi 
higher amount. Dr. Lord, who 
accompanied Col. Salter to procure 
information, sent word ^t he 
believed if the cavalry proceeded 
in advance, they would be able to 
cut off some of the fugitiyes ; and 



in compliance with his request, the 
2nd cavalry were ordered to skirt 
the hill to the right, while the 
Shah's horse, under Captain An- 
derson^ took post on the left of the 
Pass^ to prevent any of the enemy 
attempting to escape in the direc- 
tion of Ghorehund. The infantry 
followed, hut their movements 
were greatly retarded hy the 
guns, the progress of which was 
much impeded by the numerous 
water-courses that intersected the 

" The 2nd cavalry had preceded 
the column about a mile, when a 
body of the enemy's horse, about 
200 in number, supposed to be 
headed by Dost Mahomed in per- 
8on> came down the hill to attack 
them. The cavalry was formed 
into line, and led on to the charge 
by Captains Fraser and Ponsonby, 
commanding the two squadrons. 
It is my painful duty to record, 
that the gallant bearing of these 
officers was but ill seconded by 
their men ; they both found them- 
selves in the midst of the enemy 
unsupported by their troopers, and, 
aflter being most severely wounded, * 
extricated themselves with diffi- 
culty, and found their men flying 
before the enemy. I deeply regret 
to state that Lieutenant Crispin, 
the adjutant of the regiment, was 
cut down and killed, leading his 
men into action ; Dr. Lord was 
also most unfortunately killed in 
this affair, and Lieutenant Broad - 
foot, of the engineers, who was 
also in advance, is missing. Of 
the gallantry of Captain Fraser, 
and the other officers of the 2nd 
cavalry, who led the squadrons of 
the regiment on this occasion, I 
cannot speak too highly, and J 
regret that their noble example, 
and the opportunity offered to 
die 2nd cavalry of adding to its 


laurels, have been thus neglected 
by them. 

'^ The two flank companies of 
the d7th regiment, [and one com- 
pany of the 27th regiment, sup- 
ported by two guns from Captain 
Abbott's battery, and followed by 
some of the Jaun-Bauzes, now 
ascended the hill overlooking the 
pass and valley of Purwan, which 
was crowded by the enemy's in- 
fantry, and cleared it in brilliant 
style, the enemy deserting their 
positions one after the other, and 
flying in the direction of the 
Punjshere valley, where they still 
cover the hill side in great num- 
bers. The enemy, however, are 
at too great a distance to admit of 
my following up the advantage I 
have obtained this evening, the 
whole of the troops having been 
under arms for nine hours. I 
have, therefore, encamped on the 
ground, taking every precaution 
to guard against a night attack. 

" I beg to enclose the accom- 
panying casualty return, from 
which you will perceive that, ex- 
cepting the serious disaster sus- 
tained in the affair of the 2nd 
cavalry, but little loss has resulted 
from the day's operations. 
" I have, &c. 


** R. Sale, Major-General. 

** Camp, Purwan, Nov. 2, 1840.'» 

After this decisive battle. Dost 
Mahomed's soldiers refused to make 
any further efforts against the 
British forces; and that ex-chief 
fearing that his retreat might 
be cut off, or himself assassinated, 
resolved to throw himself upon the 
generosity of his foes, and pass- 
ing through Major-General Sale's 
camp, with a single follower, he 
reached Cabul unobserved, and 
surrendered himself to Sir Wil- 

274] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

liam M'Nagliten^ on the 3rd of 
November, the day, after the 
battle. He rode up to Sir William 
M'Naghten and put bis sword into 
the hand of the latter as a token 
of submission, but this was imme- 
diately restored to him. He wrote 
also to his three sons, who were 
in different parts of the country, 
desiring them to follow his ex- 
ample, and deliver themselves 

Various reasons were attempted 
to be given for the disgraceful 
conduct of the 2nd cavalry : but 
it seemed to be a general opinion, 
that they did not behave thus from 
cowardice, but through disaffection 
of some kind. They were, how- 
ever, dismounted and disarmed, 
and sent home to Bengal, where 
they were afterwards broken-up 
and disbanded with marks of igno- 

Dost Mahomed was, in a few 
days after his surrender, despatched 
under a strong escort to Loodianah, 
which was for a long period the 
place of retirement of Shah Soojah- 
ool-Moolk, his rival and successor 
on the throne of Cabul. He after- 
wards was allowed to proceed to 
Calcutta, where he arrived in 
June, and was ultimately per- 
mitted to take up his residence in 
Loodianah, and a yearly pension 
of three lacs of rupees (30,000/.) 
was granted to him. 

During the remainder of this 
year, at least, so far as we can 
include a narrative of its events 
in the present volume, Affghan- 
istan remained tolerably tranquil, 
and nothing occurred of a hostile 
nature, with one exception, which 
deserves mention, more from the 
fatal consequences which ulti- 
mately flowed from it than from 
its intrinsic importance. This was 
the capture of a fort by Major 

Lynch, and dettractioa of ill 
Ghilzie garrison, under an unhappy 
mistake. It bad been determined 
to make the old fort of Khelat-i« 
GhiLne a station for Shth Soqjah's 
troops, and two faattaticms were 
sent to occupy it* The Ghilaief 
in the neighbourhood, though well 
disposed towards the Shah, had 
some misgivings as to the object 
of this proceeding, and Major 
Lynch, the politicafasenty paannc, 
with a party of cavwy, a amm 
fort near the station, saw about 
thirty or forty men, who, on his 
approach, retired into die fort 
Ilie major summoned the chief to 
surrender the place, and received 
a promise that it should be given 
up next morning, but Major 
Lynch, unwilling to riftk dday, 
sent for a reinforcement, atormed 
the fort, and its defenden mafctiig 
a desperate renstance, diej were 
nearly all killed, the efaief ]iicluded» 
who was a stanch adherent of the 
Shah in that part. The whole 
Ghilzie tribe took up amu, to the 
number of 5,000, to revenge the 
death of their chief, s ur ru u a di ngthe 
two Shah's regiments at Khdat-i- 
Ghilzie, ui^der Captains MiMan 
and Griffin, and the whole coon- 
try was thrown into diaorder. 

General Nott sent from Canda- 
har a detachment to succour tfaeae 
troops, under Colonel Wymer, and 
when it was within tWo or three 
marches of its destinatioD, the 
Ghilzies hastened from Khebt-i- 
Ghilzie to the attack; a sharp 
conflict took place, whidi ended in 
the complete rout of the GfaiUes, 
who retired, leaving seventy dead 
upon the field. This unfortunate 
quarrel with the Ghilmesb how* 
ever, seems to have been one of 
the chief causes o£ the tragieal 
events which happened afterwards 
in Cabul, and which we shall 



1m76 to record in our next yol- 

SciNDB.«-^We mentioned in our 
last Tolume that the fortress of 
KLhelat> which had heen taken by 
our troops on the march of the 
'* army of the Indus " to Cabul, had 
again fallen into the hands of 
the enemy. It did not, however^ 
remain long in their possession^ 
for on the same day that Dost 
Mahomed surrendered to Sir 
W. M'Naghten^ Major-General 
Nott re-occupied Khelat, which 
.had been plundered and aban- 
doned by the Beloochees after 
destroyinff the town. After 
Nasaeer Khan had (as detailed in 
our last volume) made himself 
master of Khelat he led bis Brahoe 
troops first to Moostung^ then to 
Baehee Vanee above the Ghats, 
and then descended through the 
Bolan pass. He sacked and de- 
stroyed Gundava, and then ap- 
proached Kotra and Dadur. At 
the latter place Captain Watkins 
was in command, and Major Bos- 
cawen set off to support him with 
a detachment of troops, consisting 
of a wing o£ her Majesty's 41st., 
the 38th Bengal, N. I., and some 
irregular horse. After accomplish- 
ing his march with much difficulty 
owing to the inundated state of 
the country he found that the post 
and town of Dadur had been re- 
peatedly-assaulted by the Brahoes 
under Nasseer Khan. Major Bos- 
eawen immediately resolved to 
attack the enemy, who were about 
five thousand in number, and or- 
dered his party to advance on the 
Brahoes, who, after sufiering 
severely, retreated, and were pur- 
sued to their camp^ from which 
they were speedily driven. This 
happened on the same 3rd of No- 
vember, 1840, on which Dost 
Mahomed tarrendered and Khelat 

was retaken. Wh^i our troops 
reached the Brahoe camp a sad 
spectacle met their eyes. This 
was the murdered body of Lieut. 
Loveday still warm, which was 
found chained to a kujawah (a sort 
of camel-chair) with the heud 
almost severed from the trunk and 
half naked. His servant was 
weeping over it. It appears that 
this unfortunate young officer, who 
was as we have before mentioned 
our political agent at Khelat, at 
the time when that fortress was 
attacked and taken by Nasseer 
Khan, was taken prisoner and con- 
fined for a fortnight in a house in 
Khelat. When the Brahoes left 
Khelat to march against Moostung 
they took lieut. Loveday with 
them, and afterwards made him 
accompany them to Dadur. On 
leaving Moostung they loaded him 
with irons and chained him to a 
camel-chair during the night. 
When the British attacked the 
Brahoes at Dudur he was killed by 
a blow from one of the latter to 
prevent him, as is supposed, from 
being rescued. 

The Brahoe forces under Nasseer 
Khan after being driven from 
Dadur were reinforced by the 
garrison which had evacuated 
Khelat, and were able to muster 
in such numbers as once more to 
face the British in the field. On 
the 2nd of December they were 
brought to action and utterly rout- 
ed by Lieut.-Colonel Marshall at 
Peer Chutta, near Kotra, at the 
head of 900 infantry and 60 ir- 
regular horse. The Brahoes made 
a long and desperate resistance— 
and four chiefs and 500 men were 
left dead on the field. Nasseer 
Khan himself escaped, leaving his 
kettle-drums and baggage behind, 
but not long afterwards this chief* 
tain surrendered himself to Lieut* 


276] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

Wallace, and thus our operations 
in Scinde were at the close of the 
year 1840 completely successful. 
Nothing occurred in this part of 
India during the present year 
which deserves notice. 

Punjab.— On the 5th of No- 
vember, 1840^ Maharajah Kur- 
ruck Sing^ the son and successor 
of the celebrated Runjeet Sing, 
died at Lahore, not without 
suspicion of having been pois- 
oned. One of his wives im. 
molated herself upon his decease, 
according to the Hindoo custom. 
His son« Nou-Nehal-Sing, who 
succeeded as his heir to the throne 
and whose hostile feeling towards 
the British was notorious, was re- 
turning from the funeral of his 
father when as he was passing 
under a gateway a huge beam fell 
upon the elephant on which he 
was riding, and so severely injured 
Nou-Nehal, who was not more 
than 22 years of age, that he sur- 
vived only a few hours. Upon 
this event Shere-Sing, an illegiti- 
mate son of old Runjeet Sing, was 
raised to the throne ; but he after 
a variety of those intrigues and 
conspiracies which are so common 
on the decease of every Asiatic 
ruler, abdicated, and the widow of 
Kurruck Sing, in conjunction with 
Dhian Sing, the chief minister in 
the time of Runjeet Sing, assumed 
the reins of Government. 

This state of things, however, 
did not last long, for it seems that 
Shere-Sing had retired merely for 
the purpose of consolidating his 
strength, and that Dhian Sing, the 
powerful minister, was in reality 
on his side. Accordingly early in 
the present year Shere Sing sup- 
ported by nearly all the principal 
Sirdars of the kingdom, suddenly 
made his appearance before Lahore 
and gained possession of that city. 

The Queen with a fevr troops heU 
out in the citadel for several dajrs, 
during which some severe fighting 
took place ; but at last she desisted 
from the struggle, and Shere Sing 
who had been openly joined by the 
Vizier Dhian Sing, re-ascended the 
throne which he had a short time 
previously abdicated. These oc- 
currences prove how unstable was 
the tenure of dominion bequeathed 
by Runjeet Sing to his sucoessoKSy 
there being five successive changes 
in the sovereigns of the Punjab 
during a period of eishteen months. 
Our chief interest by in securing 
a free and unmolested passage for 
our troops from British In£a to 
A^hanistan, and we did not in- 
terfere in the internal dissensions 
which shook the throne so long and 
ably occupied by our steadfast ally 
Runjeet Sing. The country, bow- 
ever, was in a state of fearftil dis. 
organization, and the army was 
described to be uncontrolled fay 
discipline, while marauding parties 
traversed the kingdom, and many 
murders were committed. We 
had a considerable force assembled 
on the frontier ready to cross the 
Sutlej in case our interference was 
rendered necessary* The follow- 
ing is the account given of the 
state of the Punjab at this juncture 
in one of the Indian journals. 
*' The disorganization of the Sikh 
army is now complete ; the country 
is covered with gangs of marauders; 
and the mouldering ruins oi villages 
and hamlets attest the calamities 
inflicted by a pillaging and massa- 
cring soldiery, and threaten a sus- 
pension of agriculture.** 

China. — We continue our nar- 
rative of the operations of our land 
and naval forces on the coast of 
China, which we brought down to 
the capture of the island of Chusan 
and its principal town Ting-bae. 



The climate here was found to be 
very unhealthy^ and our men suf- 
fered severely. Fresh provisions 
were also scarce^ and soon after 
taking possession of the island only 
2,035 men were fit for duty out of 
3^650. Admiral Elliot arrived at 
Chusan on the same day on which 
It was taken, and he despatched a 
part of the squadron to Ningpo 
with a letter addressed by Lord 
Pblmerston to the Chinese Minis- 
ter. This letter however the 
Chinese authorities at Ningpo de- 
clined to forward or receive, al- 
though they treated the British 
officers accompanying the squadron 
with great civility. 

Shortly after Chusan fell into 
our hands, Admiral Elliot, accom- 
panied by Captain Elliot, sailed 
with part of the squadron north* 
wards to the Pe-che-lee harbour 
or gulf, into which the Peho (or 
Pe&n) river flows, where he ar- 
rived on the 9th of August, 1840. 
On ihe 11th Captain Elliot pro- 
ceeded into the mouth of the river 
in the steamer, with the boats of 
all the men of war present, man- 
ned and armed, and on our arriving 
at the bar the steamer anchored, 
and the boats proceeded into the 
river with a flag of truce flying ; 
on their arrival ofif the forts at the 
entrance, a mandarin boat pushed 
off to them and received the Ad. 
mini's letter, and after the expira- 
tion of six days, the time granted 
by his Excellency, a chop was re. 
ceived, stating the Emperor re- 
quired ten days to consider, which 
time being agreed to, the squadron 
proceeded to the different islands 
in the gulf of Pe-che-lee to water 
and procure bullocks, the Ernad 
transport proceeding with them. 
They succeeded in obtaining a 
supply, and returned to the anchor- 
age ^ the 27th of August, the 

day appointed, and the imperial 
cliop was sent off to the ships, and 
on the 30th an interview took place 
between Captain Elliot and Kesh- 
en, the imperial commissioner, 
the third man in the empire, a 
mandarin of the first class, and red 

Negotiations now took^ place, 
which were protracted until the 
15 th of September, on which day 
the Admiral sailed away from the 
Peho. When the squadron re- 
turned to Chusan it transpired to 
the astonishment of all, that Ad- 
miral Elliot had consented to trans- 
fer the scene of the negotiations 
from the Pe-che-lee to Canton, 
where all details were to be settled, 
and where the Chinese Govern- 
ment promised to arrange every- 
thing to the satisfaction of the 
British . This was j ustly regarded 
as a capital error on the part of the 
Admiral and Plenipotentiary, who 
ought to have known that no faith 
could be placed in Chinese promises 
unless supported by force, and who 
had the opportunity by reason of 
their vicinity to Pekin and the 
terror inspired by our rapid suc- 
cesses, of extortingfrom the Chinese 
Government concessions far more 
favourable and certain than could 
be possibly expected when the 
threatened danger was removed to 

The Emperor, however, was so 
displeased at the turn which affairs 
had taken that he superseded Com- 
missioner Lin in his ofHce, and an 
investigation was ordered to take 
place as to his conduct since his 
arrival at Canton on the 10th of 
March, 1839. Keshen was ap- 
pointed in his place, and represent- 
ed himself as being invested with 
full powers to treat with the Eng- 
lish, and adjust the quarrel between 
them and the Chinese Governments 

278] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. ^ 

Captain Elliot accordingly pro. 
ceeded to Macao and opened nego- 
tiations with Kesben at Canton^ 
which were protracted by various 
delays until nearly three weeks, 
when at last the Imperial Com- 
missioner not having acceded to the 
terms offered by Captain EUiot, 
the latter transferred the conduct 
of the affair to Commodore Bremer, 
who made immediate arrangements 
for commencing hostilities. In 
the meantime Kesben had been 
availing himself of the time he had 
gained by his procrastination, and 
had been busily employed in erect- 
ing new batteries at the Bogue — 
barricading the bars in the river by 
sinking boats laden with stones — 
throwing up breast-works near 
Canton, and levying troops. 

On the morning of the 7th of 
January of the present year. Com- 
modore Bremer opened a fire from 
his squadron on the Bogue forts, 
two of which were very soon re- 
duced, and the English flag floated 
over them. The next morning 
every thing was ready to attack the 
principal fort of Anunghoy, when 
a flag of truce was sent by the 
Chinese, and hostilities were sus- 
pended. This was an ofifer on the 
part of Kesben to adjust matters 
without further delay. On the 
20th a circular appeared signed by 
Captain Elliot, and dated Macao, 
addressed ^' to her Britannic Majes- 
ty's subjects." It stated that her 
Majesty's Plenipotentiary had to 
announce the conclusion of pre- 
liminary arrangements between the 
Imperisd Commissioner and himself, 
involving the following condi- 
tions :-— 

1. The cession of the harbour 
and island of Hong Kong to the 
British Crown. All just charges 
and duties to the Empire upon the 
oommeroe carried on there to be 

paid as if the trade were oonducted 
at Whampoa. 

2. An indemnity to the British 
Government of 6,000,000 of 
dollars, 1,000,000 payable ftt 
once, and the remainder in eq[ual 
annual instalments ending in 

3. Direct official interoourBe 
between the two countries upon 
an equal footing. 

4. The trade of the port of 
Canton to be opened within ten 
days after the Chinese new year* 
(the 2nd of February) and to he 
carried on at Whampoa till ftirther 
arrangements are practicalile at 
the new settlement. Details to 
remain matter of n^otiatum* 

To show in what light matters 
were viewed by the Chinese, or at 
all events how they a£bcted to le- 
gard them, we subjoin a de^atdi 
of the same date from Ked^ to 
the Keunmingfoo of Macaa It 
runs as follows. ''The £D|^idi 
barbarians are now, obedient to 
orders, and by an official documeBl^ 
have restored Tinghae and Shakeo ; 
invoking me with the tnast e ar me s i 
importunily, that I shoHldJhr ikem 
report and beg {the imperial) 
favour. At present all affiurs ave 
perfectly well settled. The fotmer 
order for stopping their trade and 
cutting off the suppliesof proviskm 
it is unnecessary to enforce ; it is 
for this purpose that I issue these 

The terms of this oonYentioa 
were much censured, and it eaiw 
tainly was a remarkable omisrfott 
that not a word was meutkNied in 
it about the opium traffie» whidi 
was in truth the source of all our 
difficulties with the Chinese. Be* 
sides it seemed impolitic to stsp 
Commodore Bremer when on tns 
point of attackbg the fert of 
Anunghoy, whidi aibided tke 



v«iii-glorious Chinese a pretext for 
attributing our willingness to ne- 
gociate to a fear of its strength. 

The view taken of Captain El- 
liot's diplomacy by the British 
Government at home was suffi- 
ciently manifested by a declaration 
of Lord John Russell in the House 
of Commons on the 6th of May, 
that the preliminary arrangements 
between the Chinese Imperial Com- 
miasioner and Captain Elliot had 
not been finally concluded 5 that 
this arrangement had been disap- 
proved of by her Majesty's Go- 
vemment^ and that Captain Elliot 
had been recalled^ and Sir Henry 
Pottinger appointed Plenipoten- 
tiary in bis stead. 

It soon appeared that the Chi- 
nese had no intention of fulfilling 
these engagements^ although orders 
were sent to Chusan by Sir Gordon 
Bremer to provide for the imme- 
diate evacuation of that island by 
the British troops^ and Hong Kong 
island was formally taken posses- 
sion of in her Majesty's name, and 
the British colours hoisted there. 
On the morning of the 19th of 
February a hostile shot was fired 
at the boat of the Nemesis steamer 
from North Wangtong. Upon 
which the British squadron ad- 
ranoed up the river to attack the 
forts; and on the 26th of February^ 
Captain Sir H. Fleming Senhouse, 
of her Majesty's ship Blenheim, 
having with him the Melville, the 
Queen steamer, and four rocket 
boats, opened a fire upon Anung- 
hoy- The Wellesley, Calliope, 
Samarang, Druid, Herald, Alli^ 
gator f and Modesie, were opposed 
to the batteries on the S.S.W. and 
N.W. of Wantong, and the forts 
on the western side of the Channel. 
In less than an hour the batteries 
on Wftntong were silenced, and 
the: .fiWiips under the command of 

Major Pratt, of the 26th Came- 
ronians, were landed, and having, 
in a few minutes, made themselves 
masters of the idand without the 
loss of a single man, 1,300 Chinese 

The Anunghoy batteries had by 
this time been silenced by the well- 
directed fire of the Blenheim^ MeL 
ville, and Queen, and, perceiving 
that the enemy were wavering. 
Sir H. F. Senhouse, at the head of 
the marines and small-arm men, 
landed on the southern battery, 
and drove them in succession from 
that and the two others, and at 
one o'clock the British colours were 
flying on the whole chain of these 
celebrated works. This was ao« 
complished with only five men 
slightly wounded out of the whole 
attacking force. The loss on the 
part of the Chinese was consider- 
able ; and at Anunghoy their ad- 
miral, Kwan, and several other 
mandarins of high rank, felL 

On the 27th, the light squadron 
proceeded up the river ui»j^r the 
command of Captain Herl)ert, of 
the Calliope, and on their arrival 
at the first bar they found the 
enemy strongly fortified on the 
left bank of the river, close to 
Whampoa Reach, with upwards 
of forty war-junks and the Cam^ 
bridge (formerly an East Indiaman 
of 900 tons) ; a number of vessels 
also were sunk, in order to bar the 
passage. A heavy fire was opened 
upon the steamers Madagascar 
and Nemesisy which advanced to 
reconnoitre; but the ships were 
soon brought up, and opened their 
fire on the junks and batteries, 
which in an hour were nearly 
silenced, when the marines and 
small-arm men were landed and 
stormed the works, driving before 
them upwards of 2,000 Chinese 
troops, and killing nearly 300. In 

280] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

about half an hour after landing, 
all the defences were carried, al- 
though in several places a brave and 
determined resistance was made. 
Next day Sir Gordon Bremer joined 
the advanced squadron and several 
transports were pushed forward 
within gunshot of Howqua's Fort, 
and thus for the 6rst time were 
ships seen from the walls of Can- 
ton. On the 2nd of May the 
Cruizer frigate came up, having 
on board Major-General Sir Hugh 
Gough, who took command of the 
land forces. On approaching the 
fort, it was found to be abandoned, 
and the British colours were hoisted 
on it. Between this and Canton 
were several batteries and fortified 
rafts, and Sir G. Bremer and Ge- 
neral Gough were preparing to 
attack these on the 5th, when, 
after the enemy had fired all their 
guns and fled across the rafts on 
which the British colours were 
hoisted, at noon the Kwang-chow- 
Foo or Prefect, accompanied by the 
Hons merchants, came down, and 
admitted that Keshen having been 
degraded, and the newly-appointed 
Commissioners not having arrived, 
there was no Government author- 
ized to treat for peace, or make 
any arrangements ; but Captain 
Elliot requested the naval and 
military commanders to make no 
further movement towards the 
city, until it was seen what was 
the disposition evinced by the pro- 
vincial authorities at Canton. 

Sir G. Bremer, in his despatch, 
observes on this, " I fear, however, 
that the forbearance is misunder- 
stood, and that a further punish- 
ment must be resorted to before 
this arrogant and perfidious Go-^ 
vernment is brought to reason." 
The event proved that he was 
right. On the 17th of March a 
flag of trucei sent by Captain Elliot 

with a chop to the Imperial Com- 
missioner, was fired upon by the 
Chinese; and in consequence, the 
next day, the force under the com- 
mand of Captain Herbert, who 
was in advance of the rest of the 
armament, carried and destn^ed 
in succession all the forts in ad- 
vance of Canton, taking, sinking, 
burning, and otherwise destroying 
the flotilla of the enemy^ and 
hoisted the Union-jack the same 
day on the walls of the British 
factory ; the guns of the squadron 
commanding the approaches to the 
city, and thus placing it entizely 
at our mercy. 

It appears that Keshen had de- 
layed the execution of the treaty 
which he had concluded in January 
with Captain Elliot, until he 
could obtain the Emperor^s con- 
firmation of it. The Imperial 
Cabinet rejected the treaty, and 
determined on war. Four Im- 
perial edicts were issued, which 
breathed hostility and defiance to 
the English. " They are," said 
the Celestial Monarch, '* like dogs 
and sheep in their dispositions. It 
is difficult for heaven and earth to 
bear any longer with the English, 
and both gods and men axe indig- 
nant at their conduct." Keshen 
was ordered to be delivered over to 
the Board of Punishment, still, 
however, retaining his command. 

On the 20th, a circular was 
issued by Captain Elliot from the 
British Factory, in which he stated 
that a suspension of hostilities had 
been agreed upon between him 
and the Imperial Commissioner 
Yang. This was to last until ad- 
vices came from the Court at 

At the end of Mardi, Sir G. 
Bremer left Canton for Calcntt^ 
to obtain reinforcements; niddur. 
ing his absence Sir Is JfUning 



Senhouse assumed the command 
in China. 

In the mean time^ although for 
about six weeks the trade was 
partially re-opened, in virtue of 
the Convention which had been 
entered into, the movements at 
Canton, and constant arrival of 
large bodies of Tartar troops, made 
it quite evident that the Chinese 
again contemplated hostilities, and 
were only waiting for a favour- 
able moment for attack. In con- 
sequence of this, it was determined 
to advance again upon Canton, 
and on the 23rd of May, Major- 
General Sir H. Gough, accompa- 
nied by Sir Le Fleming Senhouse, 
proceeded to the vicinity of the 
suburbs of the city, in order to 
meet Captain Elliot, and also as- 
certain the extent of the enemy's 

The plan resolved upon was to 
make the principal point of de- 
barkation of the British forces to 
the north-west of the city, while 
another column was to take pos- 
session of the factories, and co- 
operate with the naval force which 
was to attack the river defences. 
Every arrangement having been 
completed by two o'clock p.m. on 
the 24th, and the boats and other 
craft being placed in tow of the 
steamers, the British force moved 
to the attack; the right column, 
towed by the Alalanla steamer, to 
attack and keep possession of the 
factories; the left, towed by the 
Nemesis^ in four brigades towards 
the left in front. The right column 
reached its point of attack before 
five P.M., and took possession of the 
factories, under the command of 
Major Pratt. 

We cannot do better than give 
extracts from the despatch of Sir 
H, Goughy in which he details the 
evenU which follQwed :— • 

*' The left column, towed by 
the Nemesis, from the difficulties 
of the passage, with such a fleet of 
craft as she had in tow, did not 
reach the Sulphur until dusk, 
which vessel Captain Belcher had 
judiciously anchored close to the 
village of Tsing-hae, the point of 
debarcation, about five miles by 
the river line above the factories. 
I could, therefore, only land the 
49th regiment, with which corps I 
made a reconnoissance to some dis- 
tance, meeting a few strageling 
parties of the enemy. The foflow- 
ing morning the remainder of the 
column landed, and the whole pro« 
ceeded soon after daylight. 

*' The heights to the north of 
Canton, crowned by four strong 
forts and the city walls, which run 
over the southern extremity of 
these heights, including one ele- 
vated point, appeared to be about 
three miles and a half distant ; the 
intermediate ground, undulating 
much, and intersected by hollows 
under wet paddy cultivation, ena- 
bled me to take up successive posi. 
tions, until we approached within 
range of the forts on the heights 
and the northern face of the city 
walls. I had to wait here some 
time, placing the men under cover, 
to bring up the rocket battery and 

" Having at eight o'clock got 
up the rocket battery, with two 
5 J -inch mortars, two 12-pounder 
howitzers, and two 9-pounder 
guns, a well-directed fire was kept 
up on the two western forts, which 
had much annoyed us by a heavy 
tire. I now made the disposition 
for attack en echellon of columns 
from the left, and directed the 49th 
regiment o carry a hill on the left 
of the nearest eastern fort, sup- 

Krted by the 37th Madras Native 
fantry' and Bengal Volunteer»| 

282] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

under Lieutenant-colonel Morris, 
of the 49th regiment. The 18th 
Royal Irish, supported hy the Royal 
Marines, under Msyor-general Bur- 
relly I directed to carry a hill to 
their front, which was strongly 
oocupied, and flanked the approach 
to the fort just mentioned. This 
movement was to cut off the com- 
munication hetween the two eastern 
forts, and cover the advance of the 
49th in their attack and storm of 
the nearest. Major-general Bur- 
rell had directions to push on and 
take the principal square fort when 
the 49th made their rush. Simul- 
taneous with these attacks, the bri- 
gade of seamen was to carry the 
two western forts, covered by a 
concentrated fire from the whole 
of the guns and rockets. 

*' During the whole of the ad- 
vance my right had been threat- 
ened by a large body of the enemy, 
which debouched from the western 
suburbs ; and just as I was about 
to commence the attack, a report 
was made that heavy columns were 
advancing on the right 3 I was, 
therefore, compelled to detach the 
Marines under Captain Ellis to 
support the brigade of seamen, and 
to cover my right and rear. 

*' At about half-past nine o'clock 
the advance was sounded, and it 
has seldom fallen to my lot to wit- 
ness a more soldierlike and steady 
advance or a more animated at- 
tack. Every individual, native as 
well as European, steadily and 
gaJhintly did his duty. The 18th 
and 49th were emulous which 
should first reach their appointed 
goals; but, under the impulse of 
this feeling, they did not lose sight 
of that discipline which could alone 
insure success. The advance of the 
37th Madras Native Infantry and 
Bengal Volunteers, in support, was 
equtuly praiseworthy. 

" The result c^ this oomhined 
movement was, that the two forts 
were captured with comparativdy 
small loss, and that, in little more 
than half an hour after the order 
to advance was given, the British 
troops looked down on Canton 
within 100 paces of its walls. 

*' A strongly-intrenched camp 
of considerable extent, occupied 
apparently by about 4,000 men, 
lay to the north-east of the city 
upon rising ground, separated hy a 
tract of p^dy land from the beae 
of the heights. Frequent attacks 
were made upon my left by bodies 
sent from this encampments hut 
were as frequently repulsed l^ the 
49th. This, however, exposed the 
men to a heavy fire from the walls 
of the city. 

" About two o'clock, perceiving 
that Mandarins of consequence 
were joining this force from the 
city, and had occupied a viUage in 
rear of my left, I directed the 
49th to dislodge them. This 
instantly effected in the 
spirited manner that had mailced 
every movement of this gsUant 
corps. About three o'clock it wis 
evident that some Mandarin of 
high rank had reached the en- 
campment, (I have since under* 
stood that it was Yang, the Tartar 
general,) and that preparations 
were making for a freSk attadk. I 
ordered down the 18th, theiefotey 
with one company of the Bqjril 
Marines to reinforce the 49tfa, and 
directed Major-general Bunell to 
assume the command, to teipA the 
projected attack^ and instantly to 
follow up the enemy across a nar- 
row causeway, the only approach^ 
and take and destroy Uie encamp- 
ment. This duty was well and 
gallantly performed, bat I iiMvat 
to say with rather mwege loss, nooi 
the difficulty of approed^ 



to « heavy fire from the guns and 
gingals on the north-east face of 
the city wall. The enemy were 
driven at all points, and fled across 
the country ; the encampment was 
humt, the magazines, of which 
there were several, hlown up, and 
the permanent buildings of con* 
siderable extent set on fire. 

** Havine reconnoitred the walls 
and gates, 1 decided on taking the 
city by assault, or rather upon 
taking a strong fortified height of 
considerable extent within the city 
wall, before the panic ceased, but 
the hill in our rear being pecu. 
liarly rugged, and its base difficult 
of approach on account of the 
narrowness of the path, between 
wet paddy fields, I had only been 
enabled to get up a very few of 
^e lightest pieces of ordnance and 
a small portion of ammunition. I 
therdbre deemed it right to await 
the arrival of this necessary arm to 
make the assault. 

'* The following morning, the 
^th, at ten o'clock, a flag of truce 
was hoisted on the walls, when I 
deputed Mr. Thorn (whom Cap- 
tain Elliot had sent to me as inter* 
preter) to ascertain the cause. A 
Mandarin stated, that they wished 
fbfr peace. I had it explained that, 
as General commanding the Bri- 
tiili, I would treat with none but 
the General commanding the Chi- 
nese troops ; that we came before 
Canton much against the wishes of 
the British nation, but that re- 
peated insults and breaches of 
faith had compelled us to make 
die present movement, and that I 
would cease from hostilities for two 
hoars, to enable their General to 
meet me and Sir Le Fleming Sen- 
house, who kindly accompanied me 
throughout the whole operation, 
Mid to whose judicious arrange. 
mentfl and nncearing 'exertions for 

the furtherance of the united ser- 
vices, (and I am proud to say they 
are united in hand and heart,) I 
cannot too strongly express my 
sense of obligation. I further ex- 
plained that Captain Elliot, her 
Majesty's Plenipotentiary, was 
with the advanced squadron to the 
south of the city, and that if J did 
not receive a communication from 
him, or had not a satisfactory in- 
terview with the General, I should, 
at the termination of the two hours, 
order ^he white flag to be struck. » 

'* As the General did not make 
his appearance, although numerous 
messages were received between 
this time (about noon) and four 
P.M., I hauled down the white flag. 
The enemy, however, did not, 
which was rather convenient, as it 
enabled me to get up my guns and 
ammunition, without exposing my 
men to fire." 

The attack, however, was not 
renewed, but various parleys took 
place between the Chinese au- 
thorities and Captain Elliot, who 
at last wrote to Sir H. Gough, 
requesting him to suspend hostili- 
ties, as he (Captain Elliot) was 
employed in a settlement of the 
difficulties upon the following OQn. 
ditions : — 

1. The Imperial Commissioner 
and -all the troops, other than those 
of the province, to quit the city 
within six days, and remove to a 
distance exceeding sixty miles. 

2. 6,000,000 dollars to be paid in 
one week, for the use of the Crown 
of England; 1,000,000 dollars 
payable before to-morrow at sun- 

3. British troops to remain in 
their actual positions till the whole 
sum be paid. No additional pre- 
parations on either side; but all 
British troops and ships of war to 
return without the Bocca Tigris 

284] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

as soon as the whole he paid, 
Quangtong also to he evacuated, 
hut not to he re-armed hy the 
Chinese Government till all the 
difficulties are adjusted hetween 
the two Governments. 

4. The loss occasioned hy the 
burning of the Spanish hrig BiU 
haino, and all losses occasioned hy 
the destruction of the factories, to 
he paid within one week. 

Upon this adj ustment of the quar- 
rel, the gallant General ohserves, 
" Whatever mighc he my senti- 
ments, my duty was to acquiesce ; 
the attack, which was to have 
commenced in forty-five minutes, 
yiras countermanded, and the feel- 
ings of the Chinese were spared. 
Of the policy of the measure I do 
not consider myself a ' competent 
judge; hut I say ' feelings/ as I 
would have heen responsible that 
Canton should he equally spared, 
with the exception of its defences, 
and that not a soldier should have 
entered the town further than the 
fortified heights within its walls." 
The consequence was, that at 
noon on the 27th of May, the Bri- 
tish flag was lowered in the four 
captured forts, and the troops and 
brigade of seamen (who had 
throughout behaved with their 
proverbial gallantry^, marched out 
and returned to Tsmg.hae. One 
circumstance connected with the 
discipline of the troops engaged in 
the attack on Canton deserves 
mention. The soldiers of the 49th, 
finding a quantity of a spirit called 
sham-shu in the village they had 
taken, without order or previous 
knowledge of their officers, brought 
the jars containing this pernicious 
liquor, and broke them in front of 
their corps, without the occurrence 
of a single case of intoxication. 

The number of killed and 
wounded on the side of the 

British, amounted to^ killed, 15; 
wounded, 112. 

The public, however^ had to 
mourn the loss of Sir Le Fleming 
Senhouse, who expired on the 
morning of the 14th of June, on 
board the Blenheim, in conse- 
quence of a violent fever* brought 
on by his great exertions and ex- 
posure to the sun during the 
operations against Canton. He 
was buried at Macao, according to 
his own request. 

The 6,000,000 of dollars a- 
mounted to about 1,200,000(., and 
of this Captain Elliot appropriated 
upwards of 66,000Z. to reimburBe 
those who had surrendered their 
opium-chests to him at the com- 
mencement of the disturhanoea. 
This pa3nnent was subsequently 
disallowed by the Britidi Govern- 
ment, but we must defer further 
details until our next volume. 

On the 18th of June, Sir Gor- 
don Bremer again arrived at Macao« 
and it was immediately notified to 
the Chinese, that he was appointed 
joint-Plenipotentiary with Cap* 
tain Elliot. However on the 9th 
of August, Sir Henry Potdnser^ 
the new Plenipotentiary, readhed 
the Canton waters, accompanied 
by Sir William PlEurker, who as- 
sumed the command of the fleet 
in the Chinese seas. Sir H. Pol- 
tinger immediately published a 
copy of his credentials, authoriiiiig 
and empowering him ^'to nego- 
ciate and conclude with the Minis* 
ter vested with similar power and 
authority on the part of the Em- 
peror of China, any treaty or 
agreement for the arrangement of 
the difierences now subsisting be* 
tween Great Britain and China." 
In a few days afterwards he issued 
a notification, in which, after stafe* 
ing his anxiety to promote the 
prosperity of all her Mijestj's sab- 



jectfl and other foreigners^ be went 
on to say that it was his *' first 
duty distinctly to intimate for gene- 
ral and in£vidual information, 
that it was his intention to devote 
his undivided ener^esand thoughts 
to the primary object of securing 
a speedy and satisfactory close of 
the war; and that be therefore 
could allow no consideration con- 
nected with mercantile .pursuits 
and other interests to interfere 
with the strong measures which be 
might find it necessary to author- 
ize and adopt towards the Govern- 
ment and subjects of China, with a 
view to compelling an honourable 
andlastingpeace." He then warned 
all her Majesty's subjects and 
foreigners against putting them- 
felves in the power of the Chinese 
authorities during the anomalous 
and unsettled state of our relations 
with the Emperor. On the 17th 
of August Sir H. Pottinger em- 
barked from Macao for Hong- 
kong, whither Sir W. Parker had 
preyed him, and an expedition 
consisting of H.M.S. Wellesley, 
72, with the flag of Rear- Admiral 
Sir W. Parker ; Blenheim, 72 ; 
BUmde, 42 5 Druid, 44 ; Modeste, 
18; Cruizer, 18; Columbine, 18 ; 
Py lades, 18; Algerine, 10; EaU 
tlesnake troop-ship ; and the East 
India Company's armed steamers 
Sesostris, Nemesis, Queen, and 
Phlegeihon, accompanied by 21 
transports, was despatched without 
delay to the northward. 

The superseded plenipotentiary, 
Captain Elliot, left China on the 
24th of August, and on the 26th 
of September he arrived at Bom- 
bay, accompanied by Sir Gordon 


Turkey, Syria, and Egypt. — 
The events in the Levant, during 
this year, were of a far less ex- 
citing character than those which 

we have detailed in our last 
volume. Our narrative ended with 
stating that Admiral Stopford had 
refused to ratify the Convention 
made by Commodore Napier with 
the Pasha of Egypt, on the ground 
that that officer had exceeded his 
powers. On the 6th of December 
(1840) the Admiral transmitted 
to Mehemet Ali '' the official au- 
thority from the British Govern- 
ment, in the name of the four 
Powers, to maintain your High- 
ness in the Pashalic of Egypt, 
upon the conditions that within 
three days after communication 
made to you by Captain Fanshawe, 
you agree to restore the Turkish 
fleet to the Sultan and evacuate 
Syria." The Pasha, in reply to 
this, stated his sense of the for- 
bearance shown to him, and said 
that he was anxious to act in the 
manner pointed out to him in the 
despatch. At the same time he 
enclosed a communication ad- 
dressed by him to the Grand 
Vizier, in which he professes his 
entire submission to the wishes of 
the Allies in the following terms : 
" Always disposed to make the 
sacrifice of all that I possess, and 
of my life itself, in order that I 
may obtain the good graces of his 
Highness, and recognizing that, 
by the intervention of the Allied 
Powers, the favour of my Sove- 
reign is restored to me, I have 
made the necessary dispositions in 
order that the Ottoman fleet may 
be given up to such person and in 
such manner as it will please his 
Highness to order. The troops 
that were in Candia, in Arabia, 
and in the Holy Cities, are ready 
to retire; and their evacuation 
will take place without delay, as 
soon as the order of fhy Sovereign 
shall have reached me. As to 
S3rria and Adana, I have learned. 

286] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

by a letter from Ibrahim Pasha, 
dated the last days of the Rama- 
dan, and which came to my hands 
overland, that he had quitted Da- 
mascus on the dd or 4th of Cheval, 
with all the army, for the purpose 
of returning into Egypt. Syria 
h consequently wholly evacuated, 
taai consequently my act of obedi- 
ence is accomplished. These facts 
coming to the knowledge of your 
Excellency, I hope that in com- 
municating them to our Sovereign 
and master you will intercede with 
his Highness, that he will restore 
to his confidence the oldest and 
most faithful of his servants." 

The long-agitated question of 
the East was thus rapidly ap- 
proaching a settlement, and on the 
11th of January this year, Me- 
hemet Ali gave up the whole of 
the Turkish fleet, which sailed 
away for Marmorice, under the 
command of the Turldsh Admiral, 
Walker ; and about the same time 
a firman was sent from Constan- 
tinople, whereby the Sultan ac- 
corded to the Pasha the hereditary 
possession of Egypt. 

From some unexplained reason, 
however, this appears not to have 
been a final offer; for several 
firmans afterwards arrived in the 
month of February, by which the 
hereditary Pashalic of Egypt was 
bestowed on Mehemet All, upon 
certain conditions, the most ob. 
noxious of which was, that when- 
ever the Viceroy, for the lime 
being, of Egypt died, the Sublime 
Porte was " to choose amongst his 
heirs him that shall suit it best, 
who will be called to Constan- 
tinople to receive the investiture." 
This condition was strenuously re- 
sbted by the Pasha; and it is 
obvious that^ a more impolitic one 
could not have been inserted. To 
make the succession depend upon 

the caprice of the Port8» would 
have opened a wide field to all 
those domestic crimes which have 
so long been the reproach of the 
ruling families of the East, and 
would indeed have rendered the 
boon which the Sultan professed 
to be bestowing upon his powerfiil 
vassal a mockery. Mdiemet Ali 
appealed to the four European 
Powers which had taken so active 
a part in settling the affiun of the 
Levant, and the result was, that 
ultimately an amended finnan was 
received in the month of Jane by 
the Pasha at Alexandria, by which 
the hereditary successkm was gua- 
ranteed to his family without any 
interference on the part of the Porte. 
The claim of the Sultan to tribute 
was declared to be one-fourth of the 
gross revenues of Egypt ; but tins 
was to be compounded for by an 
annual payment of 3,000^000 
dollars, besides about 2,000,000 
dollars more of arrean. The 
Hatti Scherfff of GnlhaD^ and 
the fundamental laws of the Turii:- 
ish empire, were to be enfbroed in 
^gyp^ subject to certain modifica- 
tions adapted to the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of that kingdom. 

In the month of Biaich soaie 
changes tock place in the Ministty 
at Constantinople. Reschid Padia, 
the Minister of Foreign Affidrs, 
was deprived of office, and his 
place supplied by Rifaat Bey, fis^ 
merly Ambassador from the Forte 
to the Court of Vienna. Also 
Fethi Achmet Pasha, the Minis- 
ter of Commerce, was replaced by 
the Capitan Pasha, Said Paiba 
brother-in-law to the Sultan ; and 
Tahir Pasha was appointed Capi- 
tan Pasha in his st^. The two 
latter. Said Pasha and Tahir Pasha, 
had both been Ministers under the 
late Sultan, and removed by l^m 
on the ground of incapacity ; hot 



they were supposed to be favour- 
able to an amicable adjuatment of 
tbe quarrel with the Pasha of 
£g3rpt ; and this was, in all pro- 
bn^ility, the chief reason of their 
being recalled to office. 

Sybia.— The following account 
of the state of Syria at this period 
was written by a British merchant 
resident in the country ; and ap- 
peared in the English newspapers. 
jft (Bxhibits a melancholy picture of 
the effects of miMrule, nnd ^hows 
how likely it is that before long 
some general attempt will be made 
to bring about a revolution, and 
throw on theyoke of Turkish tyran- 
ny altogether. The letter is dated 

'* Aleppo^ June \7th* 
" The Government of the coun- 
try consists of Pashas and Defter, 
iars. A Defterdar is a '^book- 
keeper;" the office here is that of 
a Minister of Finance for a dis- 
trict. There are of course, besides 
thesot Mutzilius (or governors) 
over every town. The Pashas and 
Defterdars have been supplied from 
Constantino^^ ; the governors of 
towns are partly former governors, 
eonfimied by the Sultan, and partly 
' new men from Constantinople. 
The general character of the new 
rulers individually is duplicity and 
venality ; that of the Government 
feebleness, irresolution, inactivity, 
faithlessness, and poverty. All 
over the country, access to the 
Pashas, and a favourable decision 
by them, is obtainable by presents 
of money to them, and by that 
means only. If a poor fellow who 
has suppled the Government with 
stores, gets an order on the local 
treasury, he must consent to allow 
the Defterdar to retain a per- 
centage, or delay after delay is 
made, amounting almost to a dis- 
tinct refusal of payment. The 
Cnetomhome-officers may be (and 

are) bribed to allow goods to pass 
at lower rates than those in the 
tariff; and in some cases, without 
entering them at all in the Cus^ 
tomhouse-books, tbe officers take 
their present in kind, and the 
merchant takes them away with-» 
out paying any duty. The Courts 
of the Cadi have become so dread* 
fully venal, that decisions are 
openly bought ; and no man who 
will not buy the Judge's favour 
need go to his Court. In cases 
where disputes have been carried 
to the Pashas by the English and 
other Consuls, the most profligate 
violation of promises and rights is 
made without shame or fear. 

*' The feebleness of the Govem<rf 
ment is seen in the state of Mount 
Lebanon, many of the Southern 
districts and all the North* 
em. The Christian population of 
Lebanon make no secret of dieir 
contempt for the Sultan*s au^ 
thority, and dictate to him the 
terms on which they will remain 
at peace, as if they were an inde- 
pendent and more powerful state. 
The promises and power (^ the 
Allies have been able as yet ^ 
retard revolution, but there has 
been for the last three months 
constant and immediate anticipa- 
tion of a violent demonstration* 
The roads in the districts of 
Naplous and Jerusalem are inse- 
cure, from the presence of old 
marauders whom Ibrahim Pasha 
effectually kept down. 

'^ In the North, disturbances of 
a tedious sort took place at Orfa ; 
and the Arabs, from Hamah to 
the Taurus, and from Aleppo to 
the Euphrates, are at enmity with 
the Government, and command 
the country. So bold are they, 
that they were lately encamped 
within sight of the walls of 
Aleppo, and nothing waa done ta 

288] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

disperse or even check them. The 
English Consul has been endea- 
vouring to arrange with them; 
and thus the Government is in 
such a position, that, through the 
representative of another power, 
it has to treat with the chiefs of 
robbers, who laugh at its pre- 
tended authority. As you may 
imagine, the roads are nearly all 
unsafe, and robberies are common. 
The worst is, that these arrange- 
ments are defeated by the Govern- 
ment continually changing its 
views, and acting with bad faith 
to the Arabs in the face of agree- 
ments. The poverty of the Go- 
vernment is so great that no one 
will trust it unless compelled; 
and the British Commissary has 
been employed for some time at 
Beyrout drawing money to supply 
its wants. The only improve- 
ments that have been made since 
the occupation of the country are 
at Beyrout and Acre; and they 
are made not only at Great Bri- 
tain's cost, but chiefly with British 
hands. The effect of all this on 
the people is deep discontent and 
contempt No respect is paid to 
the Government 3 and complaints 
are made by all. Relief has been 
obtained certainly from the con- 
scription of the Pasha of Egypt, 
and from some grinding taxes in 
oppressed localities. The friends 
of Mehemet Ali cannot deny that 
the happiness of many of the poorer 
classes has been increased by the 
absence of his vigorous Govern- 
ment, which endeavoured to find 
resources in the country although 
at the expense of ruining con- 
siderable portions of its rural popu- 
lation, and inflicting great hard- 
ship on those liable to serve in the 
army. These evils have been re- 
moved, however, by removing all 
Government, and reducing the 

country to a state approaching to 
anarchy ; which, if permitted to 
continue, will more surely ruin 
the country. The partial suffer, 
ings under Ibrahim Pasha were 
very apparent, and probably mag-* 
nified by interested parties: the 
mischief doing now u far more 
general, and strikes at the root of 
civilization and prosperity, thoueh 
it may exhibit fewer cases of uu 
dividua] misery. This is so evi- 
dent to every one looking at pass- 
ing events in this country, that 
there are no remarks so commonly 
made by the British officers, as 
that, ' We have unfortunately re- 
moved all Government from this 
country,* and ' This state of things 
cannot last.' 

<' The European influences now 
exerted in this country are that of 
'the Allies,' represented by the 
British officers and Consols, and 
that of France, aided more secretly 
by Russia, which latter influence 
is directed by the Consuls of these 
two Powers, through the instru- 
mentality of spies and the Chris- 
tian clergy. The British influence 
is employed in pacifying the ex- 
cited mountaineers of Lebanon, 
treating with the Arabs, and in- 
terfering with the Government in 
all quarters, to prevent its making* 
as the Levantines say, * CaHva 
Jigura,* Indeed, the Government 
only shows energy under the im- 
mediate and severe pressure of this 
influence ; and wherever its abuses 
are controlled, it is by strong di- 
rect interference of the British 
officers or Consuls. The Consuls 
are few, and, with one or two 
exceptions, feeble, and not well- 
disposed to British interests. One 
favours Greeks and another French- 
men $ and they act as if sent here 
rather for the interest of strangen 
than of British merchantai, whose 



interests they neglect or injure. 
The military and naval officers 
are very different men. They ex- 
ert themselves openly and firmly 
against abuses. The military offi- 
cers are located over the whole 
country^ which is divided into dis- 
tricts. One is at Aleppo^ one at 
Tripoli, &c. At Beyrout are their 
head-quarters, where they have 
improved many parts of the town, 
and are beginning on the neigh« 
bourhood. They are also fortify- 
ing Acre. Never had the Sultan 
such bountiful Allies. His sub- 
jects consider them as their rulers 
at present de facto, soon to be so 
dejure, ' May God send more of 
you !' is a common salutation when 
an Englishman meets a traveller 
on the road. 

" The French influence employs 
the ndtive priesthood of the Ma- 

ronites (and a large importation of 
Jesuits have recently arrived to 
their aid) to influence the minds 
of the people against Great Britain, 
Over these people they have the 
most complete control; and con- 
sequently the Maronites are ail in 
favour of France and against Great 
Britain. The Druses alone favour 
us, and it is probable they may 
soon formally adopt the Protestant 
religion and claim British pro- 
tection. They amount to about 
one-third of the population of 
Lebanon. The Russian influence 
is employed in the same way with 
the Greek Christians, though not 
with so successful a result. But 
the fact that Russia also acts 
against British views, greatly 
strengthens the power acquired 
by France in the mountains. 



290] ANNUAL REQISTER, 1841. 


United States and Canada — Message of Prerident (3fr. Van 
Buren) to Congress-^Discussion in the Senate relative to the state of 
affairs between Great Britain and Americor^Getieral Harrison in" 
ducted into the Presidency — Inaugural Address — Sudden death (^ 
General Harrison — Mr. Tyler, (Vice-President) becomes President 
— He issues an Address — Meeting of Congress at Washington'^ 
Election of Speaker — Message of President — Affair of the Steam- 
boat Caroline — Seizure, in the American territory, of M'Leod, a- 
British subject — Correspondence between Mr, Fox and Mr, Fornth 
on the subject — Discussion in the House of RepresentaiiveS'-^PrO' 

» ceedings in the case of M^Leod — Outrageous acts of the mob at Lock" 
port — Warlike tone ^Report presented to the House of Representatives 
on the subject of the seizure of M^Leod — It denounces the amUiious 
and aggressive policy of Great Britain — Discussion thereupon'^ 
Question of Fortifying the Frontiers of the Union — Official note sent 
by Mr, Fox to Mr. Webster {the American Foreign Secretary)-^ 
Question of jurisdiction in the case of M^Leod — Judgment m^ Su^ 
preme Court on the subject — Trial of M'Leod at Utica — His ac- 
quittal — Seizure in Canada of an American citizen—^He is set at 
liberty — Bill introduced into Congress for the establishment of a 
National Bank — The President exercises his right of veto^^Resigna- 
tion of the Ministry in consequence — Formation of a new Cabinet'^ 
Secret Societies called " Hunter^s Lodges" along the Northern 
frontier — Proclamaiion issued by the President against them — 
General Scott a candidate for the office of President — Question of 
right of search. — Canada — Union of the two Provinces carried into 
effect — Proclamation by the Governor, Lord Sydenham-'^General 
Election — Speech of the Governor at the opening of the Session— ^ 
Address carried-^ Painful illness and death of Lord Sydenham. 

ON the 9th of January, the 
Message of the IVesident 
(Mr. Van Buren) was delivered to 
Congress. In this he congratu- 
lated his countrymen upon the 
possession of the '^ invaluable bless- 
ings of health, peace, and plenty," 
and announced, that with respect 
to foreign states, the relations of 
the American Government with 
all the powers of the world were 

those of honourable peace ^--bot 
warned them that they must be 
prepared to maintain a defended 
neutrality in *' the shock of em- 
pires." With regard to the question 
of the North-eastern Boundaiy 
the President said, 

'^The excitement which grew 
out of the territorial oontroYenj 
between the United States and 
Great Britain having in a gieat 






measure sufadded, it is hoped that 
a favourahle period is approaching 
for its final settlement. Both 
Governments must now he con- 
yinced of the dangers with which 
the question is fraught; and it 
must be their desire, as it is their 
interest, that this perpetual cause 
of irritation should be removed as 
speedQy as practicable. In my 
last annual message you were in- 
formed, that the proposition for 
a commission of exploration and 
survey promised by Oreat Britain 
had been received, and that a 
counter-project, induding also a 
provision for the certain and final 
adjustment of the limits in dispute, 
was then before the British Go- 
veniment for its consideration* 
The. answer of that Government, 
^acdompanied by additional propo* 
situms of its own, was received, 
through its Miniister here,' since 
your separation. These were 
promptly considered : such as were 
deemed correct in principle, and 
consistent with a due regard to 
the just rights of the United States 
and of th^ State of Maine, con- 
curred in ; and the reasons for dis- 
senting from the residue, with an 
additional suggestion on our part, 
communicated by the minister at 
Washington, that early steps should 
be taken to adjust the points of 
difference on the line of boundary 
from the entrance of Lake Supe- 
rior to the most North-western 
point of the Lake of the Woods, 
•liy the arbitration of a friendly 
power, in conformity with the 
seventh article of the treaty of 
Ghent. No answer has yet been 
returned by the British Govern- 
ment to this proposition." 

On the subject of the Texan 
boundary he said. 

" The Commissioners appointed 
ill porsaifice of the convention 

between the United States and 
Texas, for marking the boundary 
between them, have, according to 
the last report received from our 
commissioner, surveyed and esta- 
blished the whole extent of the 
boundary North along the Western 
bank of the Sabine river, from its 
entrance into the Gulf of Mexico 
to the 32nd degree of North lati- 
tude. The commission adjourned 
on the 16th of June last, to re- 
assemble on the 1st of Novemberj 
for the purpose of establishing 
accurately the intersection of the 
d2nd degree of latitude with the 
Western bank of the Sabine, and 
the meridian line thence to Red 
River. It is presumed that the 
work will be concluded in the 
present season." 

The President referred at con- 
siderable length to the financial 
condition of the country, giving a 
brief recapitulation oi its fiscal 
history during his term of service. 
Every demand upon the Govern- 
ment, he observed had been 
promptly met. Notwithstanding 
reductions in taxation and defi- 
ciencies arising from private com- 
mercial embarrassments, the amount 
of Treasury notes outstanding was 
only 4,500,000 dollars — less by 
23,000,000 dollars than the United 
States had in deposit with the 
States. He had somewhat reduced 
the expenditure in 1838 ; in 1839 
it was reduced by six millions ; 
and the expenditure of 1840, ex- 
clusive of disbursements for public 
debt and trust claims, would pro- 
bably not exceed twenty^two and 
a half millions. Two of the 
heaviest charges upon the treasury 
were the removal of the Indians 
and the pension-list : the former 
was nearly completed, more than 
40,000 Indians having been re- 
moved to the West of the Missis- 


292] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1841. 

sippi since the spring of 1837; 
and the pension-list was rapidly 
diminisliing by death. The Pre- 
sident entered into a long vindica- 
tion of his own financial policy, 
^od^ in the course of some remarks 
condemnatory of a national debt^ 

"Among the many objections 
to a national debt, the certain ten- 
dency of public securities to con- 
centrate ultimately in the coffers 
of foreign stockholders is one which 
is every day gathering strength. 
Already have the resources of 
many of the States, and the future 
industry of their citizens, been 
indefinitely mortgaged to the sub- 
jects of European Governments, 
to the amount of twelve millions 
annually to pay the constantly- 
accruing interest on borrowed 
money — a sum exceeding half the 
ordinary revenue of the whole 
United States. The pretence 
which this relation affords to fo- 
reigners to scrutinize the manage- 
ment of our domestic affairs, if not 
actually to intermeddle with them, 
presents a subject for earnest at- 
tention, not to say of serious alarm. 
Fortunately, the Federal Govern- 
ment, with the exception of an 
obligation entered into in behalf of 
the district of Columbia, which 
must soon be discharged, is wholly 
exempt from any such embarrass- 
ment. It is also, as is believed the 
only government which, having 
fully and faithfully paid all its 
creditors, has also relieved itself 
entirely from debt. To maintain 
a distinction so desirable and so 
honourable to our national cha- 
racter, should be an object of ear- 
nest solicitude." 

The Message closed with recom. 
mending new measures against the 
African Slave-trade. The Pre- 
sident said that the commanders 

of the brig Dolphin ' and schooner 
Grampus, who had been employed 
during last season in cruising on 
the coast of Africa, and had been 
asaSn despatched on a similar ser- 
vice, stated, that the trade was now 
principally carried on under Por- 
tuguese colours; the presence of 
armed American vessels on the 
coast having, 'Mn a great d^;ree, 
arrested the prostitution of the 
American flag to this inhuman 
purpose." — 

''The efforts of the several 
Governments who are anxiooslj 
seeking to suppress this traffic, 
must, however, be directed against 
the facilities afforded by what axe 
now recognized as legitimate com- 
mercial pursuits, before that object 
can be fully accomplished. Supplies 
of provisions^ water-caidciB;, meip- 
chandise^ and articles connected 
with the prosecution of the Slave* 
trade, are, it is understood* freely 
carried by vessels of different na* 
tions to the slave-factories; and 
the effects of the factors are trans- 
ported openly from one sbve 
station to another, without inter- 
mission of punishment by either of 
the nations to which they hdongy 
engaged in the commerce of that 
region. I submit to your judg- 
ments whether this Government, 
having been the first to pn^ihi^ 
by adequate penalties, the Shve^ 
trade — the first to dedare it piracy 
— should not be the first also to 
forbid to its citizens all trade with 
the slave-factories on the ooast of 
Africa; giving an example to all 
nations in this respect, whidi, if 
fairly followed, cannot (mil to 
produce the most effective results 
in breaking up these dcms of 

The relations, of the United 
States with Great Britain wff<e 
brought under the consideration of 



the Senate on the Ist of March. 
Mr. Buchanan said, that he had been 
instructed by the Committee on 
Foreign Relations to move to be 
discharged from the consideration 
of the resolution which had been 
referred to that committee, "re- 
questing the President to commu- 
nicate to the Senate, if not incom- 
patible with the public interest, 
any correspondence which may 
have taken place between the Go- 
vernment and that of Great Bri- 
tain relative to the North-eastern 
boundary not heretofore communi- 
cated to the Senate." He then 
proceeded to state the reasons 
which had induced the committee 
to believe, that it would be inex- 
pedient, at the present moment, 
to publish the correspondence to 
which the resolution referred. 
With respect to the boundary ques- 
tion, the two Governments had, 
be. said, already agreed upon the 
essential points of a convention 
based on mutually recognised prin- 
ciples, and alike advantageous and 
honourable to both. If it were 
the sincere desire uf both parties, 
as he believed it was, to arrive at 
an amicable conclusion, the nego- 
tiation must soon be successfully 
terminated. His official position 
'in the Senate had afforded him 
free access, to